We should not have been surprised that Gulliver* came last week to hear about the European discovery of Australia by the Dutchman William Janszoon on the Duyfken and the Spaniard Lius de Torres on the San Pedrico in 1606.

 

Ian Burnet presented a fascinating brief account of the European discovery and attempts to map the coastlines of the Gulf of Carpentaria and New Guinea, particularly where they come so close at the Torres Strait. His images and descriptions of the ships involved stressed the bravery of those involved in this dangerous enterprise, which indeed cost many their lives. Curiously, few of us know the name Janszoon, while Dirk Hartog is well known even though he arrived a decade later! 

 

Our meetings are often enhanced by the sharing of knowledge and experience and so it was on this occasion, when Don was able to tell Ian about another very early European map to add to his research.

 

* Glenn Gilliver is a long-time friend of Ian Burnet and a very welcome visitor to our meetings. We would have been very surprised to see Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator of fabulous travel adventures created by Jonathan Swift only 100 years after these historic voyages nearly 300 years ago!