As he lay dying on 19 July 1814, the last of the epic labours of his all-too-short lifetime only just completed, Captain Matthew Flinders received but never saw the publication that had consumed the last years of his life: the ‘Voyage to Terra Australis’. This was the polished journal of his epic circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803. Long overshadowed by illustrious contemporaries, Flinders deserves a special purchase on our national consciousness, if for no other reason than for the audacity of his imagination. Thanks to his imagination, the First Peoples of the land he so meticulously charted were named Australians.
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