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Memorials to reconciliation and science.

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Senator the Hon Robert Hill

    Leader of the Government in the Senate  

    Minister for the Environment and Heritage


22 December 2000

Memorials to Reconciliation and Science [ Media Releases and Speeches ]

A reconciliation monument and two memorials celebrating scientific achievements are to be funded by the Commonwealth Government.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage Robert Hill today announced memorial projects in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia would receive funding under the Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons Program.

A memorial will be erected in Cowra, New South Wales, recognising the search for new lands for the expanding colony, the establishment of the first semi-permanent European settlement on the Lachlan River and the impact of these events on the way of life of the Wiradjuri people,” Senator Hill said.

“Erecting a memorial acknowledging the indigenous people who lived in this region is another step for reconciliation.”

Senator Hill also announced grants for two memorials dedicated to nineteenth century scientific achievements.

“From 1801, two separate scientific expeditions were exploring the coast line of Australia, collecting evidence of plants and wildlife unknown to European scientists,” Senator Hill said.

“The French explorer Nicolas Baudin led an expedition to chart the south-western half of the Australian continent. At the same time, Matthew Flinders was leading an exploration in the Investigator where the naturalist Robert Brown collected more than 4000 species of native plants.

“The two expeditions met off the South Australian coast in an area that was aptly named

Encounter Bay. Despite the war raging between France and Britain the explorers were able to exchange valuable information about their discoveries in Australia.

“Scientific exploration of this kind advanced understanding of the unique flora and fauna of Australia.”

Details of the three grants under the program are:

$6352 to the Cowra Shire Council for the Soldier’s Flat Memorial commemorating the first semi-permanent settlement on the Lachlan River and its impact on the local Wiradjuri people. The settlement also served as the base camp for the 1817 scientific expedition lead by John Oxley which contributed to exploration and settlement in central New South Wales.


$5000 to the Meelup Regional Park Management Committee for a memorial in the park overlooking the landing site of Nicolas Baudin’s 1801 French expedition to Australia’s West Coast.


$5000 to the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia for a memorial to Robert Brown located on the summit of Mount Brown in South Australia named in his honour by Matthew Flinders and the field site for parts of his research.


December 22, 2000

Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258364