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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.