Gregory Blaxland’s expedition of 1813 was not the first crossing of the Blue Mountains, even by Europeans. Yet its status as an originary event that anticipated a great national future has proven remarkably enduring—as is indicated by the 2013 bicentennial celebrations. In this lecture I examine various iterations of the story of the ‘first crossing’ to probe the significance of exploration narratives to Australians’ sense of identity. In so doing, I ask what relevance the crossing has to Australians today and what relevance it might have in the future.

Speaker: Dr Martin Thomas

Presented by the History Council of NSW.
This event was supported by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.

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