Cook’s Australia claim
To The Guardian
Afua Hirsch is simply wrong when she says it is “ludicrous” to claim that Captain Cook discovered Australia. The first people to settle Australia fifty-oddthousand years ago did an amazing thing in founding a vibrant, complex and successful human society in one of the harshest environments on Earth. But, until Cook and other European explorers arrived on the scene, nobody outside Australia knew that it was there.
If you want the credit for discovering something, it’s not enough just to find it – you have to tell other people about it, so that what you’ve found has a chance
of becoming widely known. Captain Cook literally put Australia on the map, so he rightly gets the credit for making Australia known to the rest of the world. Whether, given all that has followed, this was a good idea is another question entirely. Richard Ellam, Bristol