1774 - 1814
was the person chiefly responsible for giving our country the name
'Australia' (see The naming of
From 1802 - 1803, Matthew Flinders circumnavigated the continent in a
leaky and rotting vessel, Investigator, producing a map of remarkable
accuracy on which for the first time the word "Australia" was provocatively
inscribed. Flinders proved there was one landmass: The east, New South
Wales, was joined to the west, New Holland. He had already proven that
Tasmania was separated from the mainland by a navigable strait. Flinders'
handwritten logbooks and journals provide the earliest observations of parts
of the Australian coast, the flora and fauna, as well as recording his
contact with indigenous Australians. The story of Flinders' intrepid cat
'Trim', of whom he wrote so fondly, adds another dimension to our
understanding of a unique man.
Flinders Street in Melbourne is named after him as is Flinders University.
In the centre of Melbourne you will find a statue featuring Flinders and
The Bass & Flinders
Memorial at Flinders (Victoria)