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Bungaree

– 1830

Bungaree (d.1830) accompanied Flinders in the Investigator (1801-2) and was thus the first Aboriginal known to have circumnavigated Australia. The Ku-ring-gai man was a conspicuous figure in early Sydney, and one of the most commonly represented people in colonial imagery. He was a brilliant mimic, and was wont to offer new arrivals in Sydney a burlesque welcome, wearing a succession of cast-off naval uniforms. Such facility for social performance made him an ideal mediator between the new settlers and indigenous inhabitants, and it was in the role of trusted diplomat that he accompanied Phillip Parker King to the coast of WA in 1817. In 1815 Governor Macquarie named him 'Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe' and tried to establish him as a farmer, complete with white convict labourers, at George's Head to the north of Sydney Harbour.

Updated 2018