Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Fanny Cochrane-Smith, 1834–1905

‘Fanny survived the invasion and moved to Nicholls Rivulet where most of the Cochrane-Smith families have resided for the past five generations…This is where we belong now…’

Rodney Dillon, 2006

Fanny’s mother was Tanganutura from Cape Portland, her father Nicermenic was from Robbins Island. Like the other Aboriginal children at Wybalenna Fanny was taken from her mother to be trained in British ways. She was thirteen when she and the other survivors of Wybalenna were sent to Oyster Cove in 1847.

In 1854 Fanny married William Smith, a freed convict and was given a pension of twenty-four pounds a year, the cost of her keep at Oyster Cove. She also received three land grants totalling 600 acres, between 1858 and 1889, a form of compensation to her as an Aboriginal person.

Fanny and William raised 11 children. She successfully combined her traditional skills with European ways and taught her family the traditions of hunting, shell necklace and basket making.

Fanny was a well-known active member of the Nichols Rivulet community, holding many fundraising activities and donating land to the Church.

Fanny died in 1905. Many of her descendants continue to live in the South-East region of Tasmania and to work for their Community through the South-East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation.