AUSTRALIA DAY – State of the Nation Address by Gov. Arthur Phillip
AUSTRALIA DAY – State of the Nation Address by Governor Arthur Phillip
To all Australians
26th JanuaryIt is over 200 years since we reached these golden sun kissed shores. What a blessing that was, after sailing 10,000 and more miles from England. We departed on the 13th May, 1787 and arrived on the 19th January 1788 – a journey that took us 252 days. I can assure you, after so long on the high seas, we cheered as ‘the Great Southern Land’, as it was known, came into sight. What a voyage it was. All we had to guide us was a rough map drawn by Captain James Cook. He had visited a place that he called Botany Bay 18 years earlier and stayed for only about a week. I was asked to lead an expedition to establish a new colony called New South Wales, following advice to King George III and his ministers by Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who sailed with Captain Cook. On board the 11 ships, we had convicts, marines, administrators, sailors, clergy and the wives and families of crew members. Records of how many people were on the voyage vary, but it was in the region of 1420 souls. Some died on the journey and others were born. Each day we said our prayers for survival and success in our new country. On arrival, I quickly realized that Botany Bay could not provide sustenance for all of our people. So, in a small boat, I sailed northwards, with some marines, and found the best harbour in the world. A thousand ships of the line could have sheltered there. We moved to Port Jackson, as it was first called, on the 26th January, 1788. That is why it is now celebrated as Australia’s National Day – despite the fact it was seven days after our arrival”.
- there would be no slavery
- although we were the world’s largest prison, convicts should be treated as human beings and given the opportunity to work and reform
- marriage was a right of all men and women and on February 10th, I arranged for a member of the clergy to marry three couples
- equality before the law was essential and I gave permission for the first civil law case to take place, when a convict, called Cable, won a famous victory against a captain of a ship, over money that he had kept, belonging to the plaintiff
- the native inhabitants should be treated with respect, and that we should try and learn their aboriginal languages in order to understand their culture and way of life
- religious views and faiths would be tolerated, so long as they did not threaten the colony
- order was vital and powers were given to officers to uphold the law
- the development of the economy was a priority for survival and men should be put to work and rewarded properly for their effort
- convicts who served their time should be freed and encouraged to make a successful life in our colony
- health facilities, although basic, should be developed
- defence of our small colony should be a maintained
- human rights?
- reform of convicts?
- justice and a fair go for all levels of society?
- encouragement of economic development.?
- respect for authority?
- appreciation and acceptance of the monarchy?
- the importance of training and education?
- tolerance of religious views?
- the importance of defence?
- the development of our culture and understanding of other people’s culture?”
Access an audio-visual of Gov. Arthur Phillip: View Audio/Visual. Gov. Arthur Phillips’ own story and audio is available in our on-line digital library: Arthur Phillip – My Story. Link to the fascinating historical title: Amazing People of Sydney. Link to our amazing musical: G’Day Mate, G’Day. Footnote Arthur Phillip was the Governor of New South Wales, and in effect Australia, for nearly 5 years from the 19th January, 1788 to the 10th December, 1792. This story is based on the what Dr Charles Margerison thinks that Governor Phillip would have said about Australia Day.
Dr Margerison is a psychologist and Founder of Amazing People Worldwide, Amazing People Education/Learning, Amazing People Schools and Amazing People Music.