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Dirk Hartog

Dirk Hartog landed at Shark Bay 154 years before James Cook and thus discovered the Western side like Cook mentioned is his journal.

" [since I] sic. may land no more upon this Eastern coast of New Holland, and on the Western side I can make no new discovery the honour of which belongs to the Dutch navigators and as such they may lay Claim to it as their property."

                                                                                Journal, 22 August 1770 p 387, n. 4

For more than 180 years West Australians have hailed Captain James Cook for having discovered this great continent.  Was that a mistake?  

No it was not, for Cook never made that claim.  It was the English hierarchy in the early penal colony days at Sydney Cover who turned him into a Father figure.

Cook himself was well aware of the Dirk Hartog's role in the West.

His entry indicates that he had this knowledge and was graceful enough to mention it.  

The Sandgropers - as West Australians are often referred to - have a history of their own that is relevant to the geographical location and its heritage - rather than celebrating James Cook some 5000 km away.

Hartog does not replace Cook in the history of Australia, he is added to its history in the West. 


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