Monday November 8, 2010

Governor John Hunter, Australia and Flinders

This paper addresses the life of Governor John Hunter and his impact on Australia during the late 1700s and particularly in the early colonial life. It recounts the difficulties of some of his hazardous voyages and the challenges confronting him in governing the fledgling Sydney colony. It highlights the role Hunter played in the exploration of Australia by Matthew Flinders and the latter’s relationship with the aboriginal leader Bungaree.

Much of the story is set in Mosman, a local government area on the northern foreshores of Sydney harbour where the author Viv HR May, PSM is the General Manager of Mosman Council.

Viv brings the story to life through research into his own forebears who were convicts transported to Australia.

The paper draws on historical records including Hunter’s diaries and works of contemporary Australian historians. It is coloured by Viv’s take on the life and legacy of John Hunter and the history of Mosman.

It was presented to The Society for Nautical Research (South) at Princess Royal Gallery, Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, UK on 9 October 2010.

Full text: Governor John Hunter, Australia and Flinders

I am indeed both honoured and proud to be in Portsmouth today at your celebration of the bicentenary of the return of Matthew Flinders to England.

Honoured, because I am not a historian but the General Manager (you would call it CEO) of a Sydney local authority, and to be quite frank am more at home making presentations on issues such as Local Government reform, market testing of works and services, and challenging Local Government democracy – all of which are matters close to my heart.

Mosman is a metropolitan Council on the north side of Sydney Harbour, approximately five kilometres from the central business district of the City of Sydney. It has an area of 848 hectares, and a deeply indented shoreline of 24 kilometres which is washed by the waters of Sydney and Middle Harbours and includes attractive beaches and tranquil bays rimmed by scenic sandstone and bushland. Excellent access, facilities and the calm waters of its sheltered bays make Mosman a popular place for activities like boating, swimming, diving and fishing.

Mosman has about 30,000 residents with our last census showing that there is a strong representation of over 26 nationalities. The area takes its name from Archibald Mossman, a Scot who in 1831 was allocated 4 acres of land to establish a whaling station at Mosman Bay, then known as Greater Sirius Cove or Careening Bay because that is where HMS Sirius was careened and refitted 40 years earlier.

We have in our area Sydney’s first fortification – constructed in 1801 – and we are home to the landship HMAS Penguin.

Indigenous or Aboriginal people occupied Australia long before the white Europeans. We have a location in Mosman where Aboriginal occupation can be traced back 3,650 years, where there was a camp and shelter on the foreshores. Fish, shellfish, animal and plant deposits indicate regular use of the area and there was fresh water in close proximity. The site of the farm granted to the aboriginal leader Bungaree is in Mosman.

But more about those matters later.

Of a more contemporary nature, those who may have visited Sydney would know that Mosman is home to the world famous Taronga Park Zoo. A large proportion of our area is also occupied by Sydney Harbour National Park, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust lands and defence establishments. Sydney’s premier harbour beach, Balmoral, is actually located in Hunter Bay and you can guess who that’s named after!

Her Excellency, Marie Bashir, the 37th Governor of NSW resides in her family home in Mosman.

Since 1996, the Governor of the day has not used Government House in Sydney as the official residence and the Government has even relocated the Governor’s office!

Another reason that I am proud to be making this presentation today is because I am in fact a seventh generation Australian, a First Fleeter.

There is no question that the main people I will be talking about today would have been well known to my convict great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Joseph Wright. You never know they may even have known him!

So while it’s not really within the ambit of my presentation let me just indulge myself a little with what I found out about my forebears when I got a little carried away in doing the research for this presentation.

Born in London in 1767, my ancestor, Joseph Wright appeared before the Old Bailey in 1784 charged with stealing 218 pound of lead in Sloane’s Square, Chelsea. He was originally sentenced to 7 years transportation to Africa but spent 3 years on a prison hulk on the Thames later being dispatched to Portsmouth where he left with 208 male convicts in 1787 aboard Scarborough, one of the 11 ships of the First Fleet. He was one of a total of 759 convicts under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip.

Joseph appears to have behaved well in the new colony and was granted his freedom in 1794. Justice was harsh in those days – you got sentenced to 7 years and actually served 10!

What I found particularly interesting was that Joseph married Ellen Gott, a convict who was sentenced to 3 years transportation in 1789 and survived the appalling conditions of the disastrous Second Fleet, when over 25% of its convict cargo perished during the journey or immediately on arrival. The Naval escort to that Fleet hit ice after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, returned to southern Africa and was wrecked off the coast. It could be argued that this was Australia’s first experience with ‘free enterprise’ as the Second Fleet journey was contracted out!

Joseph and Ellen, still both convicts, were married in 1790, by Australia’s first Chaplain Richard Johnson, with the special permission of Governor Arthur Phillip.

Joseph was one of the first settlers to be given a land grant west of Sydney but was not a successful farmer, and had several more run-ins with the law. He received his land in 1794 from the Lieutenant Governor, Major Francis Grose, as Phillip was unwell and had returned to England, just before the arrival in Australia for the second time of John Hunter. Joseph died in 1811, Ellen in 1843 – they had seven children and the rest is history.

It’s a great pity that when James Cook chartered the East coast of Australia from April to August 1770, he sailed past what today is acknowledged as the grandest harbour in the world, Port Jackson. He named it at midday on 6 May 1770 but did not enter through its massive sandstone heads.

The Australian historian and Mosman resident Gavin Souter notes in his book Mosman and its History; “The first Europeans known to have looked into Sydney Harbour and therefore, inevitably though unwittingly, to have seen the coast of Mosman, were on board HMS Endeavour.”

Captain Arthur Phillip of the First Fleet, accompanied by his second captain John Hunter, followed the footsteps of Cook and sailed into Botany Bay. Later they sailed north and entered Port Jackson. As Hunter wrote in his diary “there was nothing at Botany Bay to recommend it as a place in which to form an infant colony”. That was on 22 January 1788. Just four days later a new country was born when the British Flag was raised in Farm Cove on what we Australians now celebrate as Australia Day – 26 January.

What is not really given much coverage in Australian history is the fact that Arthur Phillip returned to Port Jackson on 25 January with Supply, so the remaining 10 ships of the First Fleet entered Port Jackson on 26 January under the command of Captain John Hunter RN on HMS Sirius.

I consider this appropriate as earlier in the expedition after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Phillip transferred from HMS Sirius to Supply in order to make an advance survey of their destination at Botany Bay and placed Hunter in command for nearly 3 months, arriving only 3 days after Phillip!

Within 2 days of the setting up of the colony Hunter began a detailed survey of the harbour. His party headed north and if he had not set foot in Mosman the week earlier, he definitely would have on this occasion. Today Captain John Hunter is credited with being the first European to set foot in the Mosman area.

From the outset I must acknowledge the work of Robert Barnes; An Unlikely Leader, The Life and Times of Captain John Hunter. I would also acknowledge the assistance of Lieutenant Commander Desmond Woods RAN, a Naval Historian with the Royal Australian Navy.

For many years at my Council, we have celebrated ‘Hunter Day’ when the Mayor of the day joins the Commanding Officer of HMAS Penguin to acknowledge the leadership of local schools for a luncheon on Hunter’s birthday, 29 August, in the Ward Room of HMAS Penguin.

Lieutenant Commander Woods was this year’s guest speaker at Hunter Day and told me that Hunter certainly deserves this honour. What he calls “a belated recognition paid by prosperity to a great navigator, a humane officer and a son of the Manse from Leith to whom a great southern city owes its very existence.”

I’ll come back to this view of Woods.

Over the years, I have heard many speakers in relation to the life and times of Hunter and the fact that he has never been properly (some may say fairly) researched or acknowledged, not only in his role as second captain of the First Fleet in 1788, but the fact that in 1789 he made a mercy dash to the Cape of Good Hope to get food and medical supplies for the struggling colony. He later became a Governor of NSW in circumstances he inherited in relation to the NSW Corps who had snatched economic power and control of the fledgling colony.

Much attention has been given to the fact that his name adorns many geographical land marks, particularly in NSW and the fact that the poor man even suffered the misfortune of losing not one but two ships, and being court marshalled twice – only enlightened by the fact that he managed to restore his reputation before his passing in London in 1821.

Barnes corrects the record and in his foreword to the book, one of Australia’s eminent historians, Geoffrey Blainey, notes Captain John Hunter is “one of the lost leaders of Australia”. He notes that “Hunter as an officer, in what was then the world’s leading Navy, was probably not the top of the class in competence, and he lost two ships, but his honesty, generosity and common touch were valuable qualities when he presided over the infant colony of Sydney and ruled a population in which six of every ten were convicts”. He goes on to say that “Barnes explains at length the grave problems which would have vexed, frustrated or totally thwarted any Governor no matter how experienced. Hunter had to combat officers of the NSW Corps who simply snatched economic power, but in any dispute with them he could not confidently expect early or even useful support from the British Government which was now immersed in a perilous war against revolutionary France.

It was the lies and innuendo of a later discredited Captain John McArthur that led to his recall to London in 1800.

On 19 June 1789 HMS Sirius was taken to Mosman Bay, at the time named Greater Sirius Bay for obvious reasons, for careening of its hull and it was in very bad shape after a torrid journey and damage caused by a gale. To acknowledge this event my Council commissioned a bas relief of HMS Sirius, duplicate copies of which were presented to the Government of Norfolk Island and the then borough of Medina just across the waters of The Solent. It can now be seen at Aspy, Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

Sydney is adorned with statues of our early past governors, explorers and various artefacts. The only recognition of Hunter is the anchor of HMS Sirius – returned to Sydney after its sinking off Norfolk Island under the command of Hunter.

In 1990 Mosman Council corrected this apparent oversight and commissioned a bust which now proudly stands in Hunter Park on Hunter Bay in Mosman with duplicate copies at Scone in the Hunter Valley and of course Hunter’s birthplace at Leith in Scotland.

When Hunter left the mother bank on the First Fleet he was granted a dormant commission as successor to Phillip as the Governor in the case of Phillip’s death or absence. My own observation is that Hunter must have been a very tolerant person because despite an apparent distinguished career at sea he was not given his first commission until 1780 at the age of 43. As Lieutenant on Berwick, under Admiral Rodney’s patronage Hunter became in quick succession First Lieutenant of Victory and then the Spitfire in 1782.

My reading of Hunter’s life is that at the time such patronage was essential to promotion and he was also strongly supported when Howe became first head of the Admiralty in 1783.

Twenty years from passing his Lieutenant’s examination to being granted his first commission is a long time for a person who had shown himself to be “loyal and devoted to his superiors”.

Hunter served in both victory and in defeat as Britain endeavoured to expand its empire under great naval commanders. It was a long hard haul for Hunter but he was finally rewarded in 1786 when he was appointed second captain of the First Fleet under Governor Phillip.

But it was not always ‘plain sailing’ as one might say. As I said earlier Hunter had to make a mercy dash for food and other supplies, returning to the colony in 1789.

Not long after this Hunter was sent to Norfolk Island where unfortunately HMS Sirius was lost.

Having to face Court Marshall, Hunter returned to England in late 1792 and naval patronage appears to have come to the fore in my reading of Barnes’ account of his exoneration.

While I earlier noted that two ships were lost under his command he was in fact shipwrecked on three occasions – the first as a child when he was sailing off the coast of Norway with his father.

Hunter returned to Australia in 1795 aboard Reliance. Also on board were one Matthew Flinders and Dr George Bass. They had been at school together and renewed their friendship onboard.

John Hunter had been appointed to a five year term as the second Governor of NSW from 1795 to terminate in 1800. Barnes notes that it should have been the pinnacle of an almost astonishingly rapid series of promotions all within 15 years of receiving his commission of Lieutenant. Instead it became a period of frustration, torment, confusion and bewilderment culminating in an ignominious recall with his reputation and future seemingly compromised and he becoming persona non grata at the colonial office.

Hunter was not his predecessor’s preference – he recommended Philip Gidley King – but Barnes argues in his book that it would not really have mattered who was chosen because of the circumstances the incoming Governor was inheriting. Phillip had ruled a colony comprised predominantly of the military and convicts. He returned to London due to ill health and even though Hunter’s commission and instructions were dated February 1794, he did not set sail until December of that year – largely because of the war against France.

Australia’s pre-eminent historian Manning Clark described Hunter as “the man of incorruptible integrity, unceasing zeal and a sound and impartial judgement”. Barnes states that many other historians noted that he was out of his depth as Governor and was “a sensible, pleasant, friendly old salt, brave and honest but not perhaps tough minded enough for the position”.

Barnes also observes that the seemingly contradictory descriptions of Hunter are symptomatic of a general lack of awareness of the depth and extent of the problems that confronted him under his governorship of NSW.

When Phillip had returned to England the colony had been left rudderless and Hunter returned to an entrenched NSW Corps opposing any power “including disobedience, subversion, sabotage, and innuendo”. Manning Clark describes Hunter’s failure (as Governor) as “a public one written over the pages of history of NSW, the impotence of a good man before men with evil and malice and madness in their hearts”.

Hunter’s reputation in London had been demolished and, in 1799 following Hunter’s recall, Philip Gidley King had already set sail with his commission as 3rd Governor.

Barnes highlights three main factors from Hunter’s harsh treatment at the time as the three-year period that the colony was without formal leadership which led to the rise of the NSW Corps; the lack of understanding by the British Government of the conditions in the colony; and the competency of Hunter himself. Barnes states that two of the three were not within Hunter’s ability to control. My view is that as a leader they should have been.

Robert Barnes argues that while elements of Hunter’s performance as Governor may have been inadequate other aspects of his administration were first class. Hunter’s first major decree as Governor was to re-establish the civil magistrates replacing military officials. He was able to successfully undertake a series of capital works projects, commissioning the construction of necessities such as schools, churches, barns, barracks, wharves and bridges.

Like many naval officers of the day, Hunter was also an accomplished artist and examples of his work are held in a number of national collections. He is said to be the first European to describe a platypus which he wrote of as being “an amphibious animal of the mole kind”.

Hunter is also credited for establishing what we today call community consultation. He organised periodic meetings with the settlers and very importantly, he had a humane and enlightened approach towards the indigenous population and encouraged exploration of Australia’s southeastern coastline.

I made mention earlier that in the view of Lieutenant Commander Woods, Sydney owes its very existence to Hunter and he makes that conclusion from the near tragic mercy dash Hunter made on Sirius in 1789 to the Cape of Good Hope.

Referencing the papers of Midshipman George Raper, held in the National Library of Australia, which describe the perils of the trip to Cape Town, Woods notes that if ever there was a moment when the hinge of fate nearly swung shut on the British experiment in Australia it must have been when John Hunter returning from Cape Town was embayed on the wild west coast of Van Dieman’s Land. This was a moment of supreme danger. Had he not held his nerve and displayed superb seamanship and endurance HMS Sirius would have been driven ashore and destroyed. With Sirius would have gone Governor Arthur Phillip’s best hope of holding his increasingly desperate convicts and their guards in check. In all probability, with no relief supplies, discipline would have broken down and the Marines guarding the dwindling food stores would have started to consume them. Phillip had already hanged three marines for this offence. This demonstrates how critical he knew his food situation to be. When Hunter was tacking in Sirius in the teeth of a gale back and forth trying to escape from an iron-bound uninhabited bay he carried not just responsibility for his own men’s lives but also for all those who depended on him for the vital grain that he was carrying in his hold. If Sirius was lost then in all likelihood so was the British settlement.

Instead of that dismal fate Hunter put on more sail and drove Sirius on a reach, across the bay and with a lucky shift in the wind cleared the entrance to the bay and made good his escape out to open sea. Earlier, at the height of the gale, with every sail set he was heard to cry above the gale, “She must carry it or we are all lost!” He rightly feared that he might lose a topmast or lose his mainsail as the wind tore the canvas apart. If that had happened he would have lost the capacity to hold his course and would have been wrecked. With Hunter himself, his scurvy afflicted and exhausted crew would have been lost, together with all those who depended on Sirius to get home to the starving infant settlement in Port Jackson with just enough food to get them through until relief ships arrived from Portsmouth. Hunter had taken Sirius south to shorten the distance to Cape Town and became the first man to circumnavigate the globe in Antarctic latitudes. He ran terrible risks with icebergs but he knew that it was the only possible way to fulfil Governor Philip’s orders. To have been cast away on the shores of Van Dieman’s land, beyond hope of rescue, after enduring such epic hardships would have been an undeserved fate.

Instead, Hunter held back the hinge of fate with sheer courage, endurance and seamanship. He was not a fighting Captain who took his ship into action. His enemies were wind, tide and time. He beat them all and deserves, in the view of Woods, more than a brief mention in dispatches. “He is a very genuine naval hero from an age when the extraordinary was treated as normal and Royal Navy officers were expected to always pluck victory from the jaws of defeat.”

Hunter as Governor of the colony did much to encourage exploration of the continent. Matthew Flinders was obviously well known to Hunter, and while in history Flinders’ claim to fame is his 1802 circumnavigation with Bass of Terra Australis, he earlier did much exploration under the influence and encouragement of the Governor Hunter. Hunter encouraged others to undertake exploration when their duties permitted. Unfortunately for Hunter during his time as Governor, duties precluded him from undertaking serious explorations or to travel far from Sydney.

Documentation is very poor from the period of Hunter’s time in Sydney and there is nothing written by Hunter about Flinders’ exploration in his personal letters although Hunter did write a letter to Sir Joseph Banks on 1 June 1799 informing him of the discovery of Bass Strait.

The 1802 circumnavigation was the result of a direction from the Admiralty in London and once again had nothing to do with Hunter, who by this time had been recalled. (Flinders had actually returned to England in 1800.)

Flinders was only 27 when he had his first commission on Norfolk and he had a very interesting life before his premature death at only 40. By comparison, Hunter did not even get his first commission until he was in his mid-40s.

Flinders was accompanied on his circumnavigation of Australia by an Aborigine by the name of Bungaree who is described as having a ‘good disposition and manly conduct’. I have endeavoured to ascertain the influence that Hunter may have had on Bungaree accompanying Bass and Flinders on Investigator in 1802 to become the first Aborigine to circumnavigate Australia. Prior to the journey on Investigator Bungaree also accompanied Flinders on Norfolk from July to August 1799 when by order of Captain Hunter he was sent to map Moreton and Hervey Bays in Queensland. As detailed by Governor Hunter, Bungaree was a negotiator with the Aborigines, gaining their trust for exchange of food etc. Flinders noted in his diary that there was “much advantage from the presence of a native of Port Jackson in bringing about a friendly intercourse with the inhabitants of other parts of the coast.”

Various Governors and Colonels gave Bungaree discarded uniforms and there are many paintings of him in this attire together with a crooked hat in which it is said he lived and slept. Bungaree was a character and affected the walk and mannerisms of every Governor from John Hunter to Sir Thomas Brisbane, spoke English well and was noted for his acute sense of humour.

It is estimated that within 2 years of the new colony’s establishment, between 50 – 90% of the Aboriginal population of Sydney had died, and as a boy Bungaree would have surely been exposed to the smallpox epidemic and its devastating effects. Hunter wrote in his diary that “it was truly shocking”.

Barnes in his book questions whether the disease was brought to the colony with the Europeans or came from the north. He explains that the scientific and anecdotal data led him to the conclusion that the disease did predate the First Fleet and in fact came from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and was brought to Australia by Macassan fishermen. Further support for this conclusion is that the Aborigines already had a name for the disease.

Souter in his book states that there were about 3,000 aborigines living in the Sydney region in 1788 – but just 50 years later there would only be about 300.

While well after the Governorship of Hunter, in 1815 Governor Macquarie set up 15 members of Bungaree’s group on a farm at George’s Heights, Mosman with hats, implements, stock and convict instructors. At the time the Governor decorated Bungaree with a brass plate inscribed ‘Bungaree, Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe’, a completely fictitious title. The group did not take to farming and the venture failed.

I mentioned earlier in my presentation the fact that within 2 days of establishing the new colony Hunter was off exploring using a long boat with 3 sails and a smaller rowing boat. There were 13 of them in the party and Souter goes into some detail from three diaries describing what are amongst the first contacts and descriptions of the Aboriginal inhabitants. As they explored and chartered they were watched. When they were in the vicinity of the Sydney Heads, which are large sandstone cliffs, the attention of the survey party, according to Lieutenant William Bradley (who incidentally earlier in the day had Sydney Harbour’s most significant peninsula named after him by Hunter – Bradley’s Head), was drawn to “natives on the upper part of the rocks who made a great noise and waved to us to come on shore” and directed them to a safe landing at Chowder Bay and the following day at Middle Head. Lieutenant Bradley reported that “these people had mixed with ours…were disposed to good humour and …all hands danced together.”

Hunter himself gave a description of the natives “the men in general are within five feet six inches to five feet nine inches high; are thin, but very straight and clean made; walk very erect and are active. The women are not so tall or so thin but are generally well made; their colour is a rusty kind of black, something like that of soot…”

Hunter went on to say that men, women and children go entirely naked, as described by Captain Cook: “they seem to have no fixed place of residence, but take their rest wherever night overtakes them…”

What is of interest to me is that all of this contact took place in Mosman at a place called Chowder Bay where Sydney Harbour still has one of its three clothes optional beaches.

As a statement of indigenous reconciliation Mosman Council commissioned a bust of Bungaree in 1999 which now proudly stands at the entrance to Council’s civic centre. Bungaree is acknowledged as the first indigenous person to be officially called an Australian.

It was in the Tom Thumb, a six foot boat that he brought with him from England, that Flinders, together with Bass, charted the coastal inlets and rivers around Port Jackson and Botany Bay in 1795. History books note that “This was no Sunday School Picnic jaunt, and rough seas, contrary winds and nervous Aborigines were only part of their difficulties.”

Van Diemen’s Land (renamed Tasmania in 1856) had been discovered by the Dutch sailor, Abel Tasman in 1642 and Hunter was sure there was a strait between it and the mainland. It was Governor Hunter who provided the two young explorers with a larger vessel, Norfolk, with instructions in October 1798 to sail far to the south to investigate this long held suspicion that Van Dieman’s land was not part of the mainland.

With Bass, Flinders circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land and in late 1798 Bass Strait was named by John Hunter. This exciting new discovery took one week off the journey back to England but it was not until 1803 that the first permanent European occupation of Van Diemen’s Land occurred.

Flinders left Australia for his second and last time in 1803 but others will no doubt recount the reasons for the slowness of the journey.

With so many of our early Governors and explorers having major geographical landmarks named after them, I personally find it disappointing that Flinders, who is credited with being the first person to use the name ‘Australia’ (from Terra Australis) on a chart published in 1814, is not acknowledged with more permanent memorials to his contribution to Australia’s early history. Flinders Island in South Australia is not actually named after Matthew but Samuel, his younger brother, who was also on board Reliance in 1795.

In his short but full life Flinders contributed much to the knowledge of the coastline of the fledgling colony of Sydney, then NSW, and ultimately Australia.

Matthew Flinders was the greatest navigator of his time and today is still acknowledged as one of the foremost navigators and hydrographers of any age.

Australia owes much to the explorers and navigators who so bravely gave their all in the early days of the colony of Sydney.

Today Australia is a great multicultural country but we must never lose sight of the fact that between 1788 and 1850 over 162,000 convicts were sentenced to the penal colony of NSW.

When Governor Hunter took control (or some may say, attempted to take control) of the colony in 1795, NSW had a population of 3,211 of which 60% were convicts. Today our population is 21,262,641 from over 30 different countries (based on 2006 census).

We should never forget the debt we owe to the likes of Hunter and Flinders.

Thank you.


  • Auchmuty, J.J. Hunter, John (1737-1821), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, Australian National University. Viewed 11 August 2010.
  • Barnes, Robert. An Unlikely Leader: The Life and Times of Captain John Hunter, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009.
  • Brunton, Paul, ed. Matthew Flinders: personal letters from an extraordinary life, Hordern House and State Library of New South Wales, Sydney 2009.
  • Clark, Manning. A History of Australia; Volume 1, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1995.
  • Fletcher, Patrick. The Story of Bungaree, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, 2009.
  • Flinders, Matthew (1774-1814), Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, Australian National Herbarium. Viewed 2 August 2010.
  • Souter, Gavin. Mosman: a History, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1994.
  • Woods RAN, Lieutenant Commander Desmond. Hunter Day Presentation, HMAS Penguin, August 2010
  • Wright, Joseph. First Fleet Convict

(And of course a big thank you to all my friends and colleagues at Mosman Council)

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