In 'I Succeeded Once' - The Aboriginal Protectorate on the Mornington Peninsula, 1839-1840, Marie Fels makes the work of William Thomas accessible to anthropologists, archaeologists, historians and the descendants of the Aboriginal people he wrote about. More importantly, people who live, work, study, holiday or just have a general interest in the area from Melbourne to Point Nepean can learn about the original inhabitants who walked the land before it was cleared for agriculture and urban development. Of course, development of the Mornington Peninsula is ongoing and this book will help those involved in development or the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage to identify, document and protect Aboriginal places that may not be identifiable through archaeological investigations alone. Marie Fels supplements Thomas's writings with other contemporary accounts and her exhaustive historical research sheds new light on critical events and the significant places of the Boon Wurrung people. Of particular importance is the critical review of information about the kidnapping of Boon Wurrung people from the Mornington Peninsula.
Winner of the Best Community Research, Register, Records at the Community History Awards by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Public Record Office of Victoria in 2011.