|Author||Dianne and Reilly|
Charles Joseph La Trobe was Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales and Victoria's first Lieutenant-Governor (1851–54). His administration, which coincided with the turbulent challenges of the Victorian gold rushes, was highly controversial. He departed from office a disappointed man whose contribution to the development of the colony was not immediately recognised. His was a vision of a cultured, economically viable and Christian society, with equality of opportunity for all. Any recognition of his achievements eluded him, especially regarding the Aboriginal people and the goldfields administration. As Dianne Reilly Drury shows in this fascinating investigation of the man, La Trobe's actions, ideas and behaviours during his fifteen years in office in Melbourne may be best understood by an examination of the way his character was shaped—especially by the influences on him of the Moravian faith and education, by his passion for travel and by the devotion and support of his family and friends in England and Switzerland.