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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
27 April 2006
The Australian Government is funding a $1 million design competition for a monument to properly commemorate Cook's landing place, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.
Sailing into Botany Bay aboard the replica HM Bark Endeavour, Senator Campbell said the day Lieutenant James Cook (later Captain), of the British Royal Navy, set foot on Australian soil in 1770 was a momentous occasion in the formation of modern Australia and should be better marked at the site.
“As one of the celebrated monuments to great events of discovery around the globe, such as Plymouth Rock, the Kurnell Peninsula has been neglected. As the symbolic birthplace of modern Australia it should be celebrated,” Senator Campbell said.
“Regrettably none of the existing 11 small and uninspiring plaques and plinths marking the place do it justice, which is why the Australian Government is funding a competition to allow members of the public to design a monument that commemorates all that Cook’s landing represents.”
“Revered as one of the world’s greatest ocean explorers and navigators, Cook’s landing in April 1770 was to set a course of events in motion that have helped shape our nation.
“This is why we should build a permanent monument on this site where Australia’s modern journey commenced, and one that is symbolic of the importance of Captain Cook’s first connection with the Australian land.”
Senator Campbell also announced a project to restore part of the area where botanist Sir Joseph Banks gathered his original samples during the Endeavour expedition.
“The plan is to establish the natural environment that Banks would have seen when he arrived on the shores of Botany Bay by replanting, in a natural setting, specimens of the plants that he collected during his time in this area,” Senator Campbell said.
“An annual essay competition for primary and secondary school children will also start in July 2006, with the aim of encouraging greater understanding of Australia’s history.
“Australians should embrace our history and the best way to do this is by learning about and acknowledging our past.”
The monument design competition and essay competition details are available at www.heritage.gov.au
Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580