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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.

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

Jacques Etienne Victor Arago and Pierre Langlume (engraver)

lithograph on paper (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
Purchased 2011

Accession number: 2011.22

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jacques Etienne Victor Arago (age 32 in 1822)

Pierre Langlume (age 32 in 1822)

Timbere (age 38 in 1822)

Subject professions

Indigenous identity

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First encounters

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Representations of the inhabitants of the new world expose the complexities of the colonisers' intentions.

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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.