Kamay 2020

Kamay 2020 commemorates 250 years since the encounter between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the HMB Endeavour.

Kamay Botany Bay National Park is a magnificent headland site that bounds the mouth of Botany Bay, Sydney. The Kurnell Precinct of Kamay Botany Bay National Park is located on the southern headland of Botany Bay. The place is highly significant for Australia as it is the site of contact in 1770 between Aboriginal Australians and the crew the HMB Endeavour. It is also the place of last sighting of the French explorer Compte de La Perouse in 1788, the locality for many of the plant species first collected by Banks and Solander, and contains important samples of endangered ecological communities.

The Kamay 2020 Project is a joint Australian and New South Wales Governments project to commemorate the 250th anniversary since the encounter between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the HMB Endeavour at Kurnell. This significant project has been informed by the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Kurnell: Master Plan and Plan of Management to deliver improved visitor amenity and access, provide new experiences and acknowledge the diversity of stories associated with this place.

Public feedback was sought from 30 April to 02 August 2018 on the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Kurnell: Draft Master Plan and the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Draft Plan of Management as part of the Kamay 2020 Project. The Master Plan was finalised in February 2019 and the Plan of Management adopted in December 2019.

The 250th anniversary of contact between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the HMB Endeavour provides a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at this nationally significant place as one that respects and interprets many layers of history.

Kamay 2020 interpretation and storytelling

NPWS is working with Wolfpeak Environment & Heritage to deliver a new plan for interpretation and storytelling within the Park. The purpose of this is to investigate and present opportunities to enhance the visitor experience in Kurnell and Kamay Botany Bay National Park. The stories we collect will help guide and inform the refreshed interpretation to be installed later in the year. Kurnell means different things to different people and we want to ensure these perspectives are captured. 

We’re talking to the community which has connections to Kurnell and Kamay Botany Bay National Park. The stories we collect will help guide and inform the refreshed interpretation to be installed later in the year.

If you would like to know more and contribute your knowledge, stories or memories you can contact the project team via email: kamay.2020@environment.nsw.gov.au

The Kamay 2020 sculptures

Three bronze sculptures by Aboriginal artists have been installed along the foreshore to commemorate the encounter between the local Aboriginal people and the crew of the HMB Endeavour. The sculptures have been installed in April 2020 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of this event and to share stories of the many layers of significance of this special site.

The works were commissioned by NPWS in close collaboration with key stakeholders including the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council. A smoking ceremony was held on 20 April 2020 prior to installation of the sculptures commencing. We look forward to being able to hold an official welcoming event in the future once we’re able to invite all of the community.

The Eyes of the Land and the Sea was created by Aboriginal artist Alison Page and Nik Lachacjzak with UAP Australia. Alison Page explained this sculpture, ‘brings together different perspectives on our shared history - the bones of a whale and the ribs of a ship - and sits in the tidal zone between the ship and the shore where the identity of modern Australia lies. The first encounter between James Cook and the First Australians was a meeting of two very different knowledge systems, beliefs and cultures. The abstraction of the ribs of the HMB Endeavour and the bones of the Gweagal totem the whale, speaks to the different perspectives of those first encounters, providing a conjoined narrative of two very different world-views.’

The Whales and Canoes were created by Aboriginal artists Theresa Ardler and Julie Squires with ThinkOTS. Theresa describes the whale as, ‘the dreaming figure for the Dharawal speaking people and an integral part of our community and beliefs. My Gweagal Clan looked out for whales from the Kurnell Peninsula. My Elders and my people still do this today, as it brings a strong sense of a spiritual connection on country, remembering we were once a part of the ocean, but now are land people, although still spiritually connected to both natural elements.’

The purpose of the sculptures is to promote understanding and reflection on the different perspectives that people have of the events of 1770.

What's happening at Kurnell?

Implementation of Stage 1 of the Master Plan commenced in 2019 and includes:

  • restoration of historic Alpha House (underway).
  • conservation works to the 1870 Cook Obelisk (completed April 2020).
  • detailed investigation, planning and design for other elements of the master plan will commence soon including a new Visitors Centre. Information on future works and activities will be provided during the year and you can refer to the Master Plan for details on what's planned.

Map of Kamay Botany Bay National Park


The Kurnell headland has been a special place to Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years. It is a place of meeting, of ceremony and of plenty. As the landing place of the HMB Endeavour, Kurnell represents a significant place in Australia's history and represents the early contact between Aboriginal Australians and European explorers. The National Parks and Wildlife Service was given responsibility of Kurnell in 1967 and the Botany Bay National Park including La Perouse was gazetted in 1988. In 2016, 'Kamay' was added to the name of the national park to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Gweagal.

The Kamay 2020 Project was informed by the Master Plan and Plan of Management which were developed to protect, enhance and share the special values of the national park:

  • The Master Plan will improve the Kurnell precinct, with new visitor facilities and quality visitor experiences that respect and highlight the cultural importance of this place.
  • An updated Plan of Management for the whole park defines how National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will look after special places and values, provide opportunities for visitors, and work with the community to manage this park. The values identified in the plan of management inform what improvements can occur in the park.

During the development of these Plans, community engagement was undertaken with Aboriginal communities, the local Kurnell community, park users and visitors and school and education users among others involved in this process. The full summary of the engagement activities during this process can be found in the Summary of community and stakeholder engagement: Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell.

Due to current restrictions around COVID-19, planned activities to respectfully commemorate the 250th anniversary of the meeting of cultures at Kamay Botany Bay National Park unfortunately are unable to go ahead. This includes Sutherland Council’s Meeting of Two Cultures event on the 29 April and the Gweagal Ceremony on the 28 April.

Kamay Botany Bay National Park is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. A conservation management plan for the Meeting Place Precinct at Kurnell was prepared in 2008 and endorsed by the NSW Heritage Council. Any major site works will be subject to rigorous environmental planning procedures in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and formal approval of the NSW Heritage Council under the Heritage Act 1977. The site is also recorded on the National Heritage List under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Kamay 2020 Project to implement the Master Plan is managed by the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service and the Kamay 2020 Project Board. The Project Board includes:

  • The Hon. Bruce Baird AM, Chair Kamay 2020 Project Board
  • Ms Julie Adams
  • Jason Ardler, Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW
  • Mr Greg Holland
  • The Hon. Dr David Kemp, Chair of the Australian Heritage Council
  • Dillon Kombumerri, Principal Architect NSW Government Architect
  • The Hon Ben Morton MP, Member for Tangney, Western Australia
  • Cr Carmello Pesce, Mayor Sutherland Shire Council
  • The Hon Mark Speakman MP, Member for Cronulla
  • Noeleen Timbery, Chair of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • The Hon. Robert Webster

Funding has been provided by the Australian and New South Wales Governments. NPWS is also working with partner organisations to deliver this project including Transport NSW.

As part of the Kamay 2020 Project, NPWS has partnered with Transport NSW to deliver ferry infrastructure to connect La Perouse and Kurnell across the bay. A ferry service ran along this route up until 1974 when the wharves were destroyed in storms. Funding for Kamay 2020 will contribute to this project and more information will be circulated as the project progresses.

Randwick City Council is responsible for the La Perouse Museum and has been undertaking a separate project focussed on this area. More information on this project can be found on the Council website.

Updates on Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Installation of the Kamay 2020 sculptures at Kurnell

Three bronze sculptures have been installed as part of the 250th Anniversary of the encounter between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the HMB Endeavour.

Fabrication of Kamay 2020 sculptures underway

The fabrication of the bronze sculptures selected by the Kamay 2020 Project Board are now underway.

Commemorative installation

The Kamay 2020 Board selects design for installation as part of the 250th anniversary of the meeting of two cultures at Kurnell.

Engaging the community

The 250th anniversary of the first contact between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the Endeavour provides a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at this nationally significant place as one that respects and interprets many layers of history.

Plan of management

The plan includes information on important park values and provides directions for future management.

Master plan

A master plan provides conceptual ideas for part of a national park.

Consultation details

Public exhibition for the draft plans closed on 2 August 2018. Comment on the draft plans can no longer be submitted.

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