School of Arts

Robyn Hunter

CRCAH doctoral candidate

Of railways and wine and flowers: a biography of George William Knight
(working title)

When people find out that George is my great, great grandfather they think that I will have loads of artefacts, writings, and family memories. George, however, was a complete stranger to our family – or should I say – my generation, until I discovered him a couple of years ago. George and his family came to Australia in 1857 from England as first class passengers on board the Swiftsure. However, my research suggests that once in Australia his social conscience overrode his class position. He settled in Bendigo where he worked as a civil engineer for the Bendigo Council and simultaneously developed a complex of four plant nurseries. George was a prolific writer of letters to the editor of various newspapers. His public writings are extensive, but I know very little about his private or family life. My challenge as a biographer is to supplement his public writings with other sources of information, and to try and build a coherent picture of this most fascinating man.

Robyn holds a Master of Education Studies (FedUni), a Bachelor of Arts (La Trobe Uni) and a Diploma of Education (La Trobe Uni). She worked in state secondary education for more than forty years as a classroom teacher and a principal. Her teaching centred on the humanities and history in particular. Robyn developed courses for the year 12 VCE subject, Revolutions (Russia and China), junior secondary humanities courses, English, and Australian Studies.