Matthew Flinders was an influential early British navigator who circumnavigated Australia, explored Port Phillip Bay, and was keen for the island land mass to be called Australia. This statue of him is located in a park in Mornington, a bayside town.
The plaque on the side of the statue reads:
1788 – 1988
Navigator & explorer 1774 – 1814
Dedicated by Cr. William Hanson J.P.
To commemorate the Australian Bicentenary
26th January 1988
“The adventurous spirit of Matthew Flinders
lives on in the hears of all Australians”
Sculptor Marc Clark
His larger than life shadow is fitting given his influence.
As an aside, the trees in the background aren't native to the area. The early navigators and explorers would have seen lower growing shrubby trees, totally unfamiliar to them in colour and shape. The paintings from that time appear strange to us, as if the artists were unable to paint what they saw and had English filters on their eyes.
And for a little bit of local history extracted from that well known academic resource Wikipedia:
"Proceeding along the coast, Flinders explored Port Phillip, which unbeknownst to him had been discovered only 10 weeks earlier by John Murray aboard theLady Nelson. Flinders scaled Arthur's Seat, the highest point near the shores of the southernmost parts of the bay, where the ship had entered through The Heads. From there he saw a vast view of the surrounding land and bays. Flinders reported back to Governor King that the land had 'a pleasing and, in many parts, a fertile appearance'.. He stated on May 1, "I left the ship's name on a scroll of paper, deposited in a small pile of stones upon the top of the peak". Here, Flinders was drawing upon a British tradition of constructing a stone cairn to mark a historical location. The Matthew Flinders Cairn, which was later enlarged, is located on the upper slopes of Arthurs Seat a short distance below Chapman's Point."Appropriately, stone cairns are dotted around Port Phillip Bay with historic information related to
Matthew Flinders and his crew.
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