Phillip Island Local History
Phillip Island is an Australian island located about 140 kilometers southeast of Melbourne in Victoria. The island was named after Governor Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the Colony of New South Wales. It has a rich and diverse history, beginning with the Indigenous Australians who first inhabited the island, followed by European explorers and settlers. Throughout the years, Phillip Island has seen many changes and developments that have shaped it into the thriving community it is today.
The Indigenous History
The Indigenous Australians have been the traditional custodians of the land we now know as Phillip Island for over 60,000 years. The Bunurong people, a coastal Aboriginal tribe, were the first known inhabitants of the island. They called it 'Millowl' and used it as a significant resource for food, water, and shelter, and also for spiritual and ceremonial purposes. The area was an important meeting place where they gathered to trade and share knowledge. Evidence of their presence can still be seen on the island in the form of rock art, shell middens, and other artifacts.
The first recorded European sighting of Phillip Island was in January 1798 when George Bass and Matthew Flinders spotted it while exploring the Bass Strait. However, it wasn't until the 1820s that the first permanent European settlements were established on the island. In 1826, Lieutenant Governor of Van Dieman's Land, George Arthur, sent a party to Phillip Island to establish a sealing station. They established a camp on the western side of the island, but after several years of operation, they moved to Tasmania. In 1835, John Batman, a notable Australian pioneer, purchased the land of the Kulin nation, including Phillip Island, from the Indigenous Australians. This deal has been widely criticized, as it was later discovered that the Indigenous Australians did not understand the terms of the agreement and believed they were only providing temporary access to the land. By the mid-1800s, the island had been divided into a series of pastoral leases, and farming and fishing became the primary industries. In 1868 the Summerland Estate was established, and Summerland Bay became a popular holiday destination for residents of Melbourne. In 1928, the first Phillip Island Grand Prix was held on public roads. It became a regular event, even attracting some of the world's best riders, until 1961 when it was banned due to safety concerns. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to see the penguin parade, the Grand Prix Circuit, and its stunning natural scenery.
History of in Phillip Island
Phillip Island's history is a reflection of the broader Australian story. It has been shaped by forces such as colonisation, environmental changes, and economic developments. Today, its history is an important reminder of the Indigenous Australians' connection to the land and the impact of colonialism. Phillip Island is a living history, and visitors can learn much about its past by immersing themselves in the local culture and heritage.