Thoroughly researched and adapted from journalist John Morgan’s 1852 book, based on William Buckley’s own personal account of survival, “The Extraordinary Tale of William Buckley” tells the remarkable true story of the escaped convict who lived with Wathaurong, an Aboriginal tribe in south-eastern Australia long before white colonization.

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On a stifling hot Christmas night in 1803, William Buckley, a young English convict, escaped from the doomed first settlement of Port Phillip Bay in South Eastern Australia, choosing to risk the unknown of the hostile Australian wilderness rather than surrender his freedom. A man of mixed background – from humble Cheshire bricklayer, to soldier fighting in the army against Napoleon, to convict forced to travel to the other side of the world, Buckley’s famous account of joining the Wathaurong people, an Aboriginal tribe with whom he lived alongside for 32 years, is one of the greatest Australian survival stories ever told. An engaging recreation of history, featuring Jean-Marc Russ as Buckley, Chris Haywood as John Morgan and professionally presented by historian Michael Cathcart, “The Extraordinary Tale of William Buckley” is a gripping look at one of the remarkable stories that shaped the nation.

This remarkable tale is likely the origin of Australian slang phrase “Buckley’s Chance”, meaning something is practically impossible. Impossible or not, the tale of William Buckley is one of Australia’s true underdog stories.



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