The legacy of Cook’s first Pacific voyage
Ship and Shore: The history and legacy of Cook’s voyage, a free exhibition from the Australian National Maritime Museum shines new light on the historic 1770 voyage.
Kevin Sumption, CEO and Director said, “From the moment we started planning for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s 1770 voyage we adopted a focus on the need for dual perspectives on this pivotal moment in our history. Our focus for the legacy of this project is both the ‘view from the shore’, as well as the ‘view from the ship’. The investigation of the dual perspectives theme runs through all elements of the Encounters 2020 program.
“We can look at Cook’s achievements and at the same time highlight the consequences of this historic voyage,” said Mr Sumption. “Our intention is to provide an opportunity for a discussion around these early European visits to the continent with greater context than before.
“Communities around the nation have encounter stories that have been passed down since before 1770. They tell of complex cultural practices and traditions and yet these have received little coverage in the broader narrative of the early European visits to the continent.
“This free exhibition is accessible and comprehensive and acts as a starting point for a more nuanced discussion about our history.”
The exhibition, on the Wharf 7 concourse near the museum, takes the viewer through the 1770 voyage and its legacy with information on the following:
- Cook’s achievements
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives on Cook
- Cook Myths and Misconceptions
- Charting the east coast of Australia
- Initial impact of European settlement on Australia’s First Peoples
- First Peoples contact with Europeans, Macassans and other Islander cultures
- What happened to the Endeavour?
- Cook’s insights on the Indigenous People of New Holland
- Joseph Banks and the colony of New South Wales.
“This is a chance to see the 1770 voyage in new ways. Our various exhibitions, programs and scholarship investigate Cook’s voyage and dispel some myths and misconceptions around it and share stories from the shore in the voices of Australia’s First People.
“We hope to find a way to replicate this exhibition into a travelling exhibition so more Australians can learn about this important time in our nation’s history. Also, whenever we sail the Endeavour in the future, it will be accompanied by a banner exhibition along with stories from Aboriginal communities that we will tell on board the ship,” said Mr Sumption, “this will ensure that the 1770 voyage is seen in the fullest context possible.”
The exhibition forms part of the museum’s Encounters 2020 program.