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'Timbere sauvage de la nouvelle galles du sud en grand costume (Relache au Port Jackson)'
, 1822

by Jacques Etienne Victor Arago and Pierre Langlume (engraver)

lithograph (sheet: 36.2 cm x 27.0 cm)

Timbery (1784–1840) was a senior Dharawal man, born at Charcoal Creek, near Wollongong, New South Wales; he died at age 56 in 1840. Members of the Timbery family are said to have been present when James Cook – and later Arthur Phillip – dropped anchor in Botany Bay, and are said to have directed both captains to fresh water sources and fishing spots. At a gathering in Parramatta in 1816 Timbery was named ‘King of the Five Islands’ by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. He wore a metal breastplate with the inscription ‘Joe Timbrey Chief of the Five Islands’ which after his death was lost for ninety years before being rediscovered in 1929 in an excavation site at La Perouse. In 1951 the breastplate was acquired by the Australian Museum. The Timbery family has lived continuously in the La Perouse area, perpetuating its craft traditions. Joe Timbery was a noted boomerang and shield maker, Esme Timbery is a highly-regarded shell artist, and Laddie Timbery continues the family tradition of boomerang making and sales in the area. The family has carefully preserved their stories of the arrival of the colonisers.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2011
Accession number: 2011.22