The Banksia’s name sake


Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820)

The Endeavour voyage would not have been possible without the wealth and influence of enthusiastic botanist Sir Joseph Banks.

Early life – born into wealth 

Joseph Banks was the only son of William Banks, a wealthy country squire and member of the House of Commons. 

He went to the prestigious Eton College school from 1756 and studied natural history at the University of Oxford, though he left without gaining a degree. 

Terra Australis Incognita


The notion of Terra Australis Incognita — the Great or Unknown Southern Land — came about in the fourth century BCE.

Greek philosopher Aristotle thought a great land mass must exist south of the equator to balance the weight of the lands in the north:

‘...there must be a region bearing the same relation to the southern pole as the place we live in bears to our pole...’

First Encounters – Colliding worlds


Colliding worlds

250 years ago the HMB Endeavour voyaged along the east coast of Australia. This moment, seeing each other from ship and shore, was the first of many encounters between the crew and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Nations of Australia – a collision of cultures and ways of knowing.

The perspective of the people on board the Endeavour is well known, but the experience from the shore has been a missing chapter for most people.

Navigating history - Endeavour voyage stamp collection


Australia Post is marking the 250th anniversary of the HMB Endeavour voyage with a new collection of stamps.

The new stamps, called Navigating History—250—Endeavour Voyage, were designed by Niqui Branchu and Indigenous artist Jenna Lee. They highlight cultural and scientific elements, including Indigenous artefacts, botany, and the shared use of constellations for navigation.

Lieutenant James Cook


In Australia, James Cook (27 October 1728 – 14 February 1779) is a household name. While the name, the man and his actions can be polarising, his voyage on the HMB Endeavour 250 years ago is a significant part of Australia’s history and has had a lasting impact on all Australians.

Much is known of Cook and his Endeavour voyage—but what was it about this man that made him stand out among his peers? Three particular aspects of his story may provide the answer.

Op-Ed: Chance to share both pain and celebration


History is complex - and inevitably there are differing perspectives on individual historical events. 

That is certainly true of Australian history. Australia is a continent rich in stories and home to the oldest continuous living culture on Earth. No one story or perspective can capture every aspect of our history, and what those stories mean to each person can be very different too.
Human history in Australia is estimated to go back more than 65,000 years.