Colonists | State Library of New South Wales


The beginning of the 19th century brought expansion to the colony of New South Wales. During six years as governor, from 1800 to 1806, Philip Gidley King encouraged coastal exploration and established new settlements at the Hunter River (Newcastle), Derwent River (Hobart) and the Tamar River at Port Dalrymple (Launceston) in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

King had learned from Captain Arthur Phillip, first governor of New South Wales, to respect and encourage the cooperation of ‘friendly’ Aboriginal people like Wollarawarre Bennelong.

Bungaree, Salamander, Biriban, Boardman and others sailed on ships leaving Port Jackson to establish new settlements. Their skills in bushcraft, finding water, fishing, hunting kangaroos and tracking runaway convicts were invaluable. Their knowledge of Aboriginal protocol and their advice and assistance as guides and trackers helped avoid conflict when probing new frontiers — and often saved lives

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