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Beeton, Lucy (1829 - 1886)

Badger Island, Bass Strait, Tasmania, Australia
Aboriginal teacher


Lucy Beeton spent most of her life on Badger Island, though she was sent to Launceston as a young girl to receive a Christian education. In adult life, the well-loved Beeton provided an education for the children of sealers on Badger Island and entertained visitors there.


Lucy Beeton, of Pyemmairrener descent, was born on Badger Island, Bass Strait. Her mother was taken from her when Lucy was two, to be returned on petition from her father. While still young, Lucy was sent to Launceston where she stayed with a doctor's family and was given a Christian education. F. R. Nixon, Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, wrote in 1854 that Beeton was the greatest lady it had even been his good fortune to encounter, that she was everyone's friend, and that she 'daily gathers together the children of the sealers, and does her best to impart to them the rudiments both of secular and religious knowledge'. In recognition of her work, she was given a life lease of approximately 40 ha on Badger Island. There in her cottage she entertained all visitors to the island. In 1872 she told Canon Marcus Brownrigg that she longed to give Truganini a home where she might spend her remaining days among the descendants of her own race.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 1, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994, p. 114.

Leonarda Kovacic and Barbara Lemon

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