Prince William attended Australia House in London on Friday to unveil a statue of explorer Matthew Flinders.
The statue commemorates the British captain who between 1801 and 1803 became the first to circumnavigate the island continent, mapping its whole coastline. The navigator and cartographer is also credited with popularising the use of ‘Australia’ as the name of the land mass more commonly referred to as Terra Australis at the time.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, The Duke of Cambridge lauded the sculpture’s creator Mark Richards for “telling the story of Captain Flinders with such elegance.”
“First, I appreciate the way this work communicates Captain Flinders as a man of action, strength and determination,” Prince William said.
“Second, I very much appreciate the sensitivity of the inscription around the base of the statue.
“Some of you may know that Matthew Flinders had an indigenous Australian on board with whom he clearly had a close rapport. His name was Bungaree, a person Flinders described as ‘worthy and brave’.
”’Worthy and brave’ is a description that is just as apt for Captain Flinders himself.”
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