Kangaroo Island Makes History

ADELAIDE; It is now official — Kangaroo Island off the South Australian coast will be declared the birthplace of the colonial state and Australia's first non convict settlement, not the sea side suburb of Glenelg.

State Parliament has supported a motion from Australian Democrat MP Ian Gilfillan to rewrite history and officially recognise Kangaroo Island as the site of the first European settlement in July, 1836.

Glenelg will now be recognised as the place where government was inaugurated six months later in December the same year.

Mr Gilfillan said yesterday that the Premier, John Bannon, had acknowledged the change and had given an undertaking to make an official announcement soon.

Mr Gilfillan said this was a major rewrite for the history of South Australia and followed years of campaigning by Kangaroo Island residents.

It would recognise the work of Samuel Stephens, the first manager of the South Australia Company and the man who established the first settlement on the island 156 years ago.

According to the history books, South Australia was colonised when the first governor, John Hindmarsh, arrived at Glenelg on board the Buffalo.

Sharing administrative powers with the resident commissioner of the SA Company, James Fisher, Governor Hindmarsh took control of the settlement and the city of Adelaide which had been previously surveyed by Colonel William Light.

Those references will now be changed to recognise the earlier landing of colonists at Nepean Bay on Kangaroo Island near Kingscote, its largest present-day town.

Australia's third largest island, Kangaroo Island, was so named by Matthew Flinders in 1802 after some of his crew were killed by several large and apparently fearless kangaroos.

Kangaroo Island makes history. (1991, November 30). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 17. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article122394081