Stephen Fry asks British comedians who discovered Australia.

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Ask anyone who discovered Australia and you’ll either be met with a blank stare or a common answer that’s actually incorrect.

And it’s not necessarily our fault. Aussie schools have long proliferated teachings of a false founding father, and many discount the fact that Australia didn’t necessarily need to be discovered – it was already a home to our first nation people.

British funny man Stephen Fry hosts a show called QI, on which he recently asked a panel of comedians if they knew who first discovered Australia.

The answer may surprise you.

Did you know the answer?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 10
  1. 0

    Dutchman Willem Janszoon in 1606!

  2. 0

    Well put Leon.

    The question really doesn’t need to be asked. We believe that 40 to 60 millennia ago aboriginal Australians arrived here. We have no knowledge of any groups who may have preceded them but cannot discount the possibility that there were others either decimated or assimilated.

    We know that people from Indonesian islands had long knowledge of Australia’s existence as did those from New Guinea and the history of trading or exploitative visits from those is a long one. Before the Dutch and English (if not the Portugese and Spanish,) Phoenecians, Chinese, Vikings. even Indians and Arabs had the capacity to come here and had clear contact at least with Indonesia. Some may have, some may not have come here. There is supposed evidence of some arrivals but none appear currently undeniable up until Dutch and English expeditions. Most likely there were visitors of quite a range of peoples. This, particularly given the long history of possible contact, makes it seem unnecessary if not ridiculous to talk of discovery or first landings except in terms limited by subject race, country or mode of transport.

    We may as well just accept simply that, currently, the earliest known arrival was by those peoples present day aboriginal Australians descend from.

    I remember being told as a child that I should be very proud as a forebear came here on the first fleet…as a free settler. Looking him up later it, it was found that the qualification put a rather optimistic spin on things. He had received quite a long sentence (fortunately, halved later.)

    No pride should attach to arrival at any time. My forebear was just an ordinary human’s son. His arrival was a function of time, place, outlook and fortune acting upon a broad group of people or population.

    When and if undeniable proof of various discoveries is available each will be an indication of, perhaps a testament to, the resourcefulness and the state of the cultures from whence they emanated.

    The aboriginal invasion was
    The Janszoon and Hartog Dutch discoveries were
    Dampier’s exploration was
    Captain Cook’s discovery was
    The passage of the 11 ships of the first fleet was
    No doubt many others were too.

  3. 0

    I bet there was no welfare or centerlink.( ;-[
    Just living off the land and tribal problems.
    Since there is no written or inscribed events, other than cave paintings from unknown peoples claimed to be aboriginals.
    This claim is their’s until proven otherwise, as for the rest they were visitor’s some stayed longer than others as the land was already occuppied by “aboriginals”.
    No New Discovery here.

  4. 0

    Aborigines, or do only white people count. After them was the Dutch ignore the Chinese they were just lost and ended up in Australia. Being Dutch myself I am fully aware the Dutch are the best at everything.

  5. 0

    James Cook was not the first person to arrive in Australia, in fact no one knows who, where or how the first person arrived anywhere, unless you subscribe to the theory that it was Adam and Eve.
    However James Cook was the first to use the portable clock invented by John Harrison, to navigate and map coastlines in the Asia Pacific Region so that others knew how to get there safely. He called his watch his Trusty Friend.
    He did not discover Australia, he ascertained that John Harrison’s invention worked to perfection when Astronomers and Politicians had refused to accept the fact for over 20yrs.
    Now everything is carried out according to the Time, set down by Politicians, to maintain Law and Order, to keep account of Births, Deaths and Marriages, financial transactions, climate change, historical events, etc; etc; IF Watches are synchronised.
    I lived in Australia for 40yrs and I discovered that Watches are not synchronised they are so far out of Time with one another the same day is counted over 48hrs instead of 24hrs, which has the effect of adding a day to the length of a year on a Calendar that was set
    down in 1582. This calendar is past its use by date.
    I also discovered that the Earth does not orbit the Sun, that it rotates once a year so that a year can be measured at the Meridian, in the same way as John Harrison measured a day.
    This means that an accurate account of Time and Date can now be set and used worldwide.
    However it will probably take another 20yrs for the Politicians to accept the fact.
    Meanwhile trillions of Time Conversions are made every minute on the Internet, a recipe for confusion, that will destroy Law and Order as we know it.

    • 0

      AB… I am a little confused
      In the sentence “…it rotates once a year…” is the subject the Earth or the Sun? That is, do you mean the Earth does the rotating or the Sun, maybe both?

      One way or another I would be in awe of the work the outlying planets manage to achieve.

    • 0

      Jaid if you are interested in the way Earth orientation is calculated to measure Time at the rate of one rotation about the Polar Axis per day and one rotation about the Magnetic Pole per year I have explained it on my web page > < Failure to correct past mistakes, to continue building on an error, will only create a bigger error that will destroy or hide the facts that support a civilized way of life.
      Only by looking to the past can we see our mistakes and make a fresh start towards the future.

  6. 0

    Who cares
    What does it matter
    Stop looking to the past and look to the future

    • 0

      Who cares?
      I do

      What does it matter?
      Failure to correct past mistakes, to continue building on an error, will
      only create a bigger error that will destroy or hide the facts that
      support a civilized way of life.

      Stop looking to the past and look to the future
      Only by looking to the past can we see our mistakes and make a
      fresh start towards the future.

  7. 0

    In my opinion, every theory has the right to life. If you need the careful analysis of the topic you can read more here.



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