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In early 2019 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans for the Endeavour replica to circumnavigate Australia. On an ABC radio show he referred to the plans as a ‘re-enactment’. [1]

However, the reality is Cook never circumnavigated Australia. Matthew Flinders was the first European to do so, aided by Bungaree, an Indigenous Australian, in the Investigator.

In an earlier episode Senator Bridget McKenzie, when talking about the importance of Australia Day being the 26 January, stated:

‘the reality is, that is when the course of our nation changed forever. When, you know, Captain Cook stepped ashore’. [2]

The gaffes show how Cook has been mythologised in Australia, and (often incorrectly) associated with key moments in Australian history. In response #ThingsCookdid trended on Twitter. It provided a range of responses, from suggesting a range of achievements for which Cook was equally not responsible, to clarifying things that Cook actually did.


  1. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-22/endeavour-replica-to-sail-around-australia/10734998
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-senior-government-minister-made-an-embarrassing-blunder-about-what-happened-on-january-26-2018-9

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This article is from the free online course:

Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in museums and public spaces

National Maritime Museum