Rex was born on Flinders Island, off the northeast coast of Tasmania. He lived at Lady Barron
a small township known for fishing on the south coast of Flinders Island until moving to
Launceston in 1972.
Rex is the son of Joe and Dulcie Greeno the eldest of 5 siblings. Rex worked with his father
Joe on 3 fishing boats over his life-time, it was fishing boats that influenced Rex and his
brother to take up cray fishing. His mother Dulcie was re-known for her craft skills, focusing
on making shell necklaces and baskets. Rex’s Aboriginal linage comes from his grandfather
Silas Mansell and his mother Dulcie.
Rex’s grandfather Silas Mansell was a direct descendant of the Straitsmen. A group of
seamen who were known as Sealers and Whalers. These men befriended the Aboriginal
clans at Cape Portland, where they obtained tribal women and settled on many of the
smaller islands in Banks Strait. Rex fished with his grandfather, father and brother around
the islands for about 40 years before retiring in 2008.
Rex’s inspiration to build his first bark canoe came from his sea experience while continuing his cultural knowledge and skills from his family. His interest began by reading the research by Rona Hollingsworth compiled from the historical records on Tasmanian watercraft.