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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

22 December 2000

Memorials to Reconciliation and Science

A reconciliation monument and two memorials celebrating scientific achievements are to be funded by the Commonwealth Government.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage Robert Hill today announced memorial projects in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia would receive funding under the Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons Program.

A memorial will be erected in Cowra, New South Wales, recognising the search for new lands for the expanding colony, the establishment of the first semi-permanent European settlement on the Lachlan River and the impact of these events on the way of life of the Wiradjuri people,” Senator Hill said.

“Erecting a memorial acknowledging the indigenous people who lived in this region is another step for reconciliation.”

Senator Hill also announced grants for two memorials dedicated to nineteenth century scientific achievements.

“From 1801, two separate scientific expeditions were exploring the coast line of Australia, collecting evidence of plants and wildlife unknown to European scientists,” Senator Hill said.

“The French explorer Nicolas Baudin led an expedition to chart the south-western half of the Australian continent. At the same time, Matthew Flinders was leading an exploration in the Investigator where the naturalist Robert Brown collected more than 4000 species of native plants.

“The two expeditions met off the South Australian coast in an area that was aptly named Encounter Bay. Despite the war raging between France and Britain the explorers were able to exchange valuable information about their discoveries in Australia.

“Scientific exploration of this kind advanced understanding of the unique flora and fauna of Australia.”

Details of the three grants under the program are:

December 22, 2000

Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258364

Commonwealth of Australia