How did Cook’s Endeavour voyage change Australia forever?
Investigation 6: The story
6.3 Which parts of Australia did Cook visit?
Cook and his Endeavour crew spent just over four months sailing and mapping Australia’s east coast between Point Hicks in Victoria (or Tolywiarar as it is known to local Aboriginal people) and Possession Island in the Torres Strait (Thunadha). Surprisingly Cook only landed in two places — Botany Bay (Kamay) for eight days and Possession Island (Kaurareg) in the Torres Strait for one day. He was also forced to stop over at Endeavour River (Waalumbaal Birri) in northern Queensland for two months, after the Endeavour ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
1. Do some research to find out what happened when Cook and his crew landed at Botany Bay. Make some notes about what happened in the box below.
2. There was an important reason why Cook was in a hurry. It had something to do with ‘monsoon winds’ and needing to ‘catch them’. Find out what the ‘monsoon winds’ are and why they were so important.
3. Try this out in your group. On a piece of paper, draw an island and label it with five land features such as a mountain range, a river, a forest and so on.
4. Giving names to places on the Australian coastline was important to Cook and he added these names to his maps. Decide as a group what names to give to each feature of your island and write them in the table below. In the final column give your reason for choosing this name.
|Name||Reason for choosing this name|
5. Point Hicks was named after Lieutenant Hicks who first sighted land from the Endeavour. What kinds of names did your group come up with? How did you choose?
6. But what if your island already had people living on it and these people had already named the features of the island before you. How do you think they might react when they realise you have renamed the features of the island?
7. This is what happened in Australia. Aboriginal people already had names for all the places that Cook saw, and many more. Why do you think Cook didn’t ask Aboriginal people what names they already used?
8. What impact do you think the renaming of places might have had on Aboriginal people, especially later when Europeans arrived to occupy Australia?
9. Your group now has to present part 3 of the ‘Cook claims Australia’ story to the rest of the class. Choose what you think are the most important things you have found out and then work out a creative way of presenting that information.