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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Bungaree, late chief of the Broken Bay tribe, Sydney

1836
William Fernyhough

lithograph on paper (sheet: 26.6 cm x 18.6 cm)

Bungaree (c. 1775–1830), voyager, navigator and diplomat, was among the most significant Sydney-area Indigenous leaders of the early colonial period. He arrived in Sydney from Broken Bay in the 1790s, soon becoming an intermediary between the Aboriginal community and the colonists. He made his first foray as a seafarer when he joined the Reliance for a journey to Norfolk Island in 1798. In 1799, he travelled as far north as Bribie Island and Hervey Bay with Matthew Flinders, and in 1802 he sailed with Flinders again as a member of the Investigator expedition, proving himself indispensable as a negotiator and for his knowledge of Aboriginal protocols. As a result of his participation in the Investigator expedition, Bungaree reputedly became the first Aboriginal person to circumnavigate Australia. In 1817 he joined the surveying voyage along the southern coast of the continent led by Philip Parker King, who considered Bungaree 'sharp, intelligent', and 'of much service to us in our intercourse with the natives.' Governor Macquarie also valued Bungaree's skills as an intermediary and hoped that he would act as an example to his compatriots. To this end, Macquarie set aside land for Bungaree and his people at Middle Head, issuing them with farming equipment, clothing and a fishing boat to encourage the adoption of 'civilised' ways. Bungaree became well known for his wit and his practice of welcoming to his country ships entering Sydney Harbour. This, combined with the recognition of his standing in both communities, made him a favoured subject for portraitists and several early colonial artists created images of him. Augustus Earle's c. 1826 painting of Bungaree is among Australia's earliest portraits in oil on canvas, and Earle's lithograph of the painting is regarded as the first printed portrait produced in New South Wales. Bungaree died in Sydney in November 1830 after a long illness.

Gift of Dr Robert Edwards AO 1999. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

William Fernyhough (age 27 in 1836)

Bungaree

Donated by

Dr Robert (Bob) Edwards AO (12 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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