13 October 2019


13 October 2019


Good morning everyone. I am delighted to be here for the opening of your 2019/2020

I should like to thank your Commodore Doug Matthews committee and secretary Peter Kinsman for your kind invitation to be here.

May I start by acknowledging the elders, families and forbearers of the Boonwurrung/Bunurong tribe, the Kulin, who were the custodians of this land for many centuries. We acknowledge that the land on which we meet was the place of age-old ceremonies, of celebrations, initiation and renewal; and that the Kulin peoples’ living culture had, and continues to have, a unique role in the life of this region.

It is also a pleasure to be here with our new, well relatively new, state member of parliament for Nepean Chris Brayne who is going to say a few words to follow on.

The sense of place which we speak of when acknowledging the traditional owners of this land has a special significance on the southern peninsula as it is in October and November each year there are the openings of the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Season last Saturday, here at Rye today, and in November at Sorrento.

This recalls the fabulous maritime history of this area when 216 years ago David Collins in his little first fleet for Port Phillip turned up in the ships the Ocean at 481 tons and Calcutta – just over there – anchoring off the Eastern Sister at Sullivan Bay.

The ships disgorged some 300 male convicts, a handful of free men, a dozen civil officers, including 3 surgeons, 5 overseers, 50 marines and the wives of 17 convicts, nine marines, 8 free settlers, 2 officials and 38 children.

And they brought with them that great instrument of public service control – a printing press –and I thought I should bring along today a copy of Lt Governors first printed General and Garrison Orders of 16 October 1803– beautifully printed up on heavy paper with the Royal Coat of Arms –

Now, I understand the Club had a marvelous dinner here last night to mark the opening of the season – and I know the Club is keen to upgrade its kitchen – but this was the meager weekly ration 216 years ago

And then there were licensing controls which were equally unvaried.

So this is all part of the great maritime tradition inherited by your Club and the other yacht clubs on in Nepean Ward.

May I wish you all happy and safe sailing as I turn the podium over to Chris to conclude the opening.