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Endeavour on a New Voyage of Reconciliation

endeavour under sail
endeavour under sail

August 1768 Lieutenant James Cook was sent on a voyage by the Royal Society and the British Admiralty on the small bark Endeavour to the island of Tahiti to view the transit of Venus across the sun, he was then told to sail south west to find the legendary Great South Land.

The world circumnavigation of 1768-71 seen Cook and his crew chart Tahiti among other pacific islands for the first time, they also proved New Zealand was two islands and charted the east coast of Australia.

In August 1770 before the Endeavour set sail from New Holland Cook hoisted the English colours and claimed the eastern section for King George 111, he named it New South Wales; in 1788 the first fleet landed and began the British settlement of Australia.

April 2011 captained by Ross Mattson seen the HM Bark Endeavour set sail on a different voyage, a voyage to spread the message of friendship and reconciliation.

Mary-Louise Williams, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum says “We look forward to connecting with hundreds of thousands of people in remote and regional communities along the 8,000 nautical mile journey. And to recognising and learning more about the shared maritime history between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.”

The Federal Government provided $453,000 under the Indigenous Employment program; Senator Arbib said “This is a fantastic opportunity for 39 dedicated young indigenous Australians from remote and regional communities. Their time on the Endeavour will teach them invaluable skills for the future.”

“The indigenous crew members are being trained in sailing and navigation techniques resulting in long term job opportunities across multiple fields, programs such as these are important to ensure that indigenous Australians from remote and regional areas have the same access to jobs and training as those from the city.”

When the voyage is over for the indigenous crew, job futures will work with them to maximise their experience and find suitable employment.

The Australian built Endeavour has a reputation of being the world’s most accurate maritime reproduction, constructed from the West Australian hardwood Jarrah along with Douglas fir specially imported from the USA for the masts and spars, traditional iron fittings were made in a specially created smithy.

All the mod cons of the 21 century needed whilst at sea such as engines, generators, an electric galley, showers and the necessary safety equipment are all stowed away in the cargo where cook kept his very different provisions for the voyage.

When the ship is in port you could be mistaken thinking the crew from the 1768-71 voyage had just gone on shore leave, with Joseph Banks botanical specimens spread out in the great cabin, a copy of Charles Green the astronomers journal lays open on his desk and all around you is genuine evidence of what a life at sea was like for the crew.

The replica of Cooks Endeavour is currently docked in Geraldton until Tuesday 4 October and open to the public, entry to the Endeavour is $18 adults, $9 child or &38 for a family. The Endeavour sets sail again on 6 October to continue on her voyage coming into Fremantle on 12 October.

If you are lucky enough to be a local resident of Perth and Fremantle the museum is urgently seeking volunteers to act as tour guides when the ship is open to the public, showing visitors through the ship and sharing its history, over night ship keepers are also wanted to look after her while in port, take turns on watch and sleep in a ships hammock just like the crew of 1768.

Training will be given to volunteers and you’ll also receive a certificate of appreciation, a 12 month pass to the museum in Sydney and a truly unforgettable experience being part of the Endeavours newest great voyage.

For more information on the Endeavour and her voyage schedule or to download application forms to volunteer go to:


Fiona Hammond is a journalist who graduated from the John Morris journalism academy. Fiona lives on the south coast of NSW Australia and writes human interest stories and opinions, about gardening, sustainability, fishing, the environment and our planet.

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