MR ENTSCH: I recently had the pleasure of attending the Cooktown and Cape York Expo with my beautiful wife and daughter, Yolonde and Mackenzie.
Cook Shire Council had been planning to stage the event in 2020 to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s 1770 voyage to Australia.
Unfortunately, it became a victim of the global pandemic.
Some important facts: many people wouldn’t know the Endeavour and its crew of 86 men actually spent 48 days in Cooktown—the longest of any significant land-based stay during Cook’s voyage.
During their stay, there were countless positive interactions with the local Indigenous people and, more significantly, the first recorded act of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians occurred.
The 10-day event was one of celebration, reconciliation and a major catalyst for regional economic renewal but, more importantly, the event focused on the shared history of over 250 years between the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, something that is important to both groups.
I strongly urge all Australians to put Cooktown on their bucket list and check out the amazing attractions, including the James Cook Museum, Reconciliation Rocks, the boat centre and the botanic gardens, just to name a view.
Finally, I would like to give a big shout out to Mayor Peter Scott and his team for the work they have done over the past few years to make this the resounding success that it turned out to be over the 10 days of celebrations.