The transformation of Risdon Cove from the site of first British settlement to that of the first massacre of the Aborigines underscores the major shift that has been taking place in Tasmanian historiography in recent years. For most of Tasmania's history, settler narratives of exile and possession dominated our understanding of the past. Now Indigenous discourses of dispossession, segregation and survival have forced historians to reconceptualise the colonial encounter and to assess its impact on Aborigines as well as colonists. But this shift has not yet been entirely accepted. In this context, Risdon Cove holds a unique position in Tasmanian history.