The federal government is backing communities across the country to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia and the Pacific with a series of events.
In addition to $5.45 million to support projects for the Cooktown 2020 Festival, the government will provide $6.7 million to the Australian National Maritime Museum so its replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour can circumnavigate the country, hosting a series of events and activities at each of its proposed 39 stops.
The circumnavigation will be funded from the government’s existing $48.7 million package to mark the anniversary that includes exhibitions through the National Library of Australia, support for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and assistance for the NSW government to deliver the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Master Plan.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the events would offer new generations an insight into Captain Cook, the Endeavour and the experiences of Indigenous Australians.
“As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook’s historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation,” the Prime Minister said.
“That voyage is the reason Australia is what it is today, and it’s important we take the opportunity to reflect on it.
“From Far North Queensland and the Cooktown 2020 Festival across to Bunbury and down to Hobart, our government will ensure Australians young and old can see firsthand the legacy of Captain Cook and the voyage of the Endeavour.”
Arts Minister Mitch Fifield said the government’s investment in the replica Endeavour’s circumnavigation would be managed sensitively, and will present both the view from the ship and the view from the shore of Cook’s historic voyage.
“The HMB Endeavour replica will set sail from Sydney in March 2020, and head south to Hobart before turning north to commence a full circumnavigation of mainland Australia,” Fifield said.
“The final itinerary, including the nature of HMB Endeavour’s replica visit to each of the proposed locations (anchorage, berth or sail by) and the associated dates, will be announced in the first half of this year following community consultations by the Australian National Maritime Museum.
“The voyage will provide many opportunities for Australians to see the HMB Endeavour replica, either at one of the ports it visits or when it anchors or passes by.”