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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
The Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP
Federal Member for Mackellar
13 December 2006
Thousands of people will have a rare opportunity to experience a working 16th century vessel with the arrival in Sydney today of the authentic replica of the Dutch 'jacht' Duyfken. Sydney is the Duyfken's final official port on a 12,000km voyage to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first documented European contact with Australia-which occurred at Queensland's Cape York.
Duyfken will enter Sydney Harbour and arrive at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at 8.50am today for the official welcome ceremony.
The Duyfken will be open to the public for tours at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour from Thursday 14 December to Saturday 23 December 2006, 9am-5pm daily (gold coin donation).
The Australian Government has provided major sponsorship of $495,000 for the journey, which is the centrepiece of the Government's 2006 focus on coastal and maritime heritage. Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Ian Campbell, said this important journey including stops at 25 ports around the country, is highlighting our early maritime history.
"In 1606, Captain Willem Janszoon and his crew aboard Duyfken sailed from the Indonesian island of Banda in search of gold and trade opportunities on the fabled island of Nova Guinea. They did not find gold - but they did find the northern coast of a huge continent: Australia," Senator Campbell said.
"Willem Janszoon mapped the first 350km of Australia's coastline, along the western shore of Cape York to Cape Keerweer. It was the beginning of the charting of Australia's 25,000km coastline; a coastline that today is rich in natural, historical and Indigenous heritage treasures."
Bronwyn Bishop MP welcomed Duyfken to Sydney, and said the ship's visit would bring Australia's early maritime history to life.
"The Duyfken visit will enable Sydney's school children and the public to learn more about a defining period in our heritage that saw the 'Little Dove' sail into our history and put Australia on the world map," she said.
"This is history in the raw and shows graphically how basic and sparse the conditions were for the crew of the Duyfken and other ships of that era."
The voyage is a partnership between the Australian Government, the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation, and volunteer group Australia on the Map 1606 - 2006. For further information on Duyfken or to read the Captain's log, visit www.duyfken.com
Senator Campbell's office: Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902
Bronwyn Bishop's office: Damien Jones 02 9972 2355 or 0409 147 247
Duyfken media enquiries: Nicola Perez 0412 304 958