Assorted Bastards of Australian History

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Paul Daley


Cook looms as large in Australian statuary as he does in nomenclature and, perhaps especially, psyche. To those who still deify him as the explorer at the vanguard of white-hatted colonial Enlightenment he remains the Neil Armstrong of his day – he who sailed where dragons be to bring English light and civility to the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet. To others of this continent, he is a sinister bogey man and a monster, the doorman who ushered in later colonisation with all its extreme violence, dispossession and ills with his east coast arrival in 1770 – in which his first act was to personally shoot two Gweagal men at Kamai.

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