Sun's rays, Point Lonsdale, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Escapee William Buckley sheltered here in a cave. His chances of survival were rated low, hence the saying Buckley’s chance!. January 2003.
Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography
William Buckley was a convict who escaped from the ship Calcutta in Port Philip Bay in 1803. He was befriended by aboriginals of the Wauthourong tribe, given a wife by whom he had a daughter, and lived for thirty two years in a hut that he had built near the mouth of Bream Creek.
Buckley surrendered himself to a party under the command of John Wedge after he overheard the Aborigines plotting to kill the people on a visiting ship and to rob it. He was pardoned by the governor and given a job as an interpreter. He eventually moved to Hobart, married, and died there in 1856.
He must have been a pretty smart operator to have survived in a totally foreign situation, learned the language and customs of the Wauthourong people, and re-adapted to European society after thirty two years.
More info on William Buckley can be found at Australian Dictionary of Biography