In 1833/34 according to local Aboriginal people was the site of a massacre that killed up to 200 Gundidjmara people. Convincing Ground is a wide ranging, personal and powerful work which resonates with historical and contemporary Australian debates about identity, dispossession, memory and community. For Pascoe, the Australian character was not forged at Gallipoli, Eureka and the back of Bourke, but in the more satanic furnace of Murdering Flat, Convincing Ground and Werribee.
Henty, who may have known the reason for the name, is not mentioned. The coast of Portland is the site of Victoria's earliest white settlement as well as the massacre of the Kilcarer Gundidj clan in a dispute over a beached whale in 1834. It took place on the beach of Allestree at Portland Bay, otherwise known to the local Indigenous people as the 'Convincing Ground'.