Matthew Flinders and the north coast of New South Wales

Document Type


Publication details

Smith, RJ 1999, 'Matthew Flinders and the north coast of New South Wales', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 163-170.


Matthew Flinders stands second only to James Cook in our celebration of the nation's maritime exploration. Statues of him are to be found in several cities, and his name is still used for many topographic features, institutions and businesses. As the first circumnavigator, and as the originator of the name `Australia', he is certainly worthy of such national recognition and stature, and this is likely to increase with the added interest of his current and forthcoming bicentenary anniversaries or specific commemorations.(1) Perhaps undercutting any over-serious heroic memorialisation is the New South Wales State Library's recent statue of Flinders' cat `Trim', at least allowing a broadening of the public appreciation to include the, warmth of the man. A similar wider view can come from an examination of the narrow section of surviving writings which deals with the North Coast of New South Wales in 1799.

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