February 23 - 29, 2020: Issue 439


Sculptures to commemorate the meeting of two cultures at Kamay Botany Bay: kamay 2020 project - the 250th Anniversary

Julie Squires and Theresa Ardler’s work ‘Wi-Yanga and Gurung The Whales’ - photo courtesy NPWS/ DPIE.

Three commemorative bronze sculptures designed by Aboriginal artists have been chosen to mark the 250th anniversary of the first contact between the crew of HMB Endeavour and the Gweagal people on the shores of Botany Bay.

The installations will be erected at what is now Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell ahead of 29 April anniversary this year.

On February 14th, 2020 Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley announced that artists Julie Squires and Theresa Ardler’s works ‘Wi-Yanga and Gurung The Whales’ and the ‘Nuwi/Canoes’ have been chosen along with Alison Page with Nik Lachacjzak’s ‘Eyes of the Land and Water’.

Nuwi/Canoes Photo: NPWS/DPIE

Eyes of the Land and the Water Photo: NPWS/DPIE

“We want all Australians to visit this culturally significant site, to help to interpret the many stories of this historic place and, more importantly, to understand its part in our shared story,” Ms Ley said.

“The Kamay 2020 Project aims to present differing perspectives of the site, and to encourage respect as they visit the national park, which will receive a $50 million upgrade funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments.”

NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the NSW Government has committed $25 million for planned works including new visitor amenities, transport, educational and other park infrastructure.

“Upgrades to the visitor centre and park infrastructure will ensure visitors to this important site can get a better appreciation of its significance as part of our shared history.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the Kamay 2020 Project Board has selected works which include story-telling of both Aboriginal and European viewpoints of the arrival of the Endeavour.

“Art is a powerful tool for telling people’s stories and interpreting historical events, and we want these sculptures to promote understanding and reflection as people look back on the landing in 1770,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders had already been here for more than 60,000 years when the HMB Endeavour arrived. Marking the meeting place of the Gweagal people and the crew through this installation gives us an opportunity to come together as a nation to reflect on both sides of our shared history – from the ship and from the shore.”

The commemorative installations are based on concepts placed on public exhibition for community feedback in 2019. ThinkOTS will assist in installing 'Wi-Yanga and Gurung The Whales’ and ‘Nuwi/Canoes’ and UAP Australia the ‘Eyes of the Land and Water’.

The installations are just one aspect of the larger Kamay 2020 Project which will support community education and interpretation programs, provide new ways to learn about and enjoy this historically important place, and deliver on the vision to make Kamay a place of significance to all Australians that contributes to the national identity.

“On 28 April 2018 it was announced that the Commonwealth and NSW governments would jointly fund the implementation of Stage 1 of the master plan works,” Minister Ley said.

“Stage 1 will include a new visitor centre, cafe and exhibition space, ferry wharves to re-establish the physical, social and cultural link between La Perouse and Kurnell, enhanced access around the site, restoration and repair of the historic Alpha House and conservation works to the 19th century Cook and other monuments.”

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is managing this project and will provide updates on the design and construction of the sculptures at the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website.

Kamay 2020 Project Board

Chaired by the Hon. Bruce Baird AM the Project Board was selected by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to represent stakeholder interest in the project.

Other Board members are: Ms Julie Adams; Jason Ardler, Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW; Mr Greg Holland; Chris Ingrey, La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council; The Hon. Dr David Kemp, Chair of the Australian Heritage Council; Dillon Kombumerri, Principal Architect NSW Government Architect; The Hon Ben Morton MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Cr Carmello Pesce, Mayor Sutherland Shire Council; The Hon Mark Speakman MP, Member for Cronulla; The Hon. Robert Webster

Also available:

This place has a stack happening, including ridiculously good whale watching (best between May and November) at Cape Solander. While you’re there, stretch those limbs and wander the beautiful Burrawang Walk, a short 1km walk full of historical goodness, including Captain Cook’s landing place. Look out for the pro surfers at “Ours” in Cape Solander – Sydney’s infamous big wave surfing spot. If the wave does make an appearance, you’ll be in for a treat as it’s considered one of the strongest, heaviest in the world. 

Since 2014, “Ours” is now home to the much anticipated annual surfing competition, Red Bull’s Cape Fear event. Onlookers watch in suspense as pro-surfers from all around the world attempt to tackle one of the world’s most dangerous waves. The wave is notorious for pounding a heavy slab of water onto a shallow, water lined reef, where those who walk away unscathed are considered lucky.

Taken from Inscription Point on the South Head region of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo by Philip Terry Graham. 

Central Station to Cronulla Station
From Central Station take the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line straight to Cronulla Station. At Cronulla Station take the 987 bus to Kurnell.

Heritage Protection For Our Early Colonial History

10 September 2017: Joint media release - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy and The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Federal Member for Cook
The Minister for the Environment and Energy and Federal Member for Cook today announced the inclusion of Kamay Botany Bay: Botanical collections sites in the National Heritage List. It will be the 112th place added to Australia’s National Heritage List.

Kamay Botany Bay: Botanical collection sites has outstanding heritage value to the nation as the place where botanist Sir Joseph Banks and naturalist Dr Daniel Solander collected plant specimens in 1770 as part of the first landing of the Endeavour in Australia.

The Endeavour arrived at Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. Banks and Solander stayed in Botany Bay for eight days and during this time they collected one of the greatest botanical collections of all time from Kurnell Peninsula, La Perouse Headland and Towra Point Nature Reserve.

James Cook named ‘Botany Bay’ in honour of “the great quantity of plants which Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander collected in this place.” The place is now known by the dual name Kamay Botany Bay, incorporating the Dharawal place name of ‘Kamay’ for Botany Bay.

Banks and Solander’s Botany Bay collections, classified under the Linnaean System, provided a profound impetus for the newly developing science of systematic biology and represent the earliest example of scientific investigations on the east coast of Australia.

The listing of Kamay Botany Bay: Botanical collections sites builds on the existing National Heritage listing of Kurnell Peninsula in 2004. Kurnell Peninsula was previously recognised for its outstanding heritage value to the nation as it is the site where Cook first landed in Australia 1770 and is the site of the first recorded contact between Indigenous people and the British in eastern Australia.

In recognition of the importance of our early colonial history, the Minister for the Environment and Energy has written to the Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, the Hon Dr David Kemp, to request the Council’s advice on the adequacy of existing legal protections for places and monuments that relate to the early interactions between European explorers and settlers and Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

The Australian Heritage Council’s advice will include how these protections operate, at a local, state and federal level, in the event there is damage or loss of cultural heritage values and any recommendations the Council may have to enhance the protection and management of significant monuments related to Australia’s historical cultural heritage.

The Council is also currently assessing Colonial Sydney for National Heritage listing, which includes Hyde Park and Captain Cook’s statue. The Minister has requested the Council prioritise this assessment and consider it as part of the broader review of ensuring the protection of Australia’s places and monuments that relate to our early colonial history.