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The fascinating story of the Kimberley “Mermaid” boab tree

Harvey Deegan

Phillip Parker King, at the age of 25, was appointed to complete the exploration of the ‘Coast of New Holland’ started by the famed Captain Matthew Flinders and create accurate charts to guide ships safely through the dangerous waters.

In 1820, Lieutenant Phillip Parker King’s survey vessel, His Majesty’s cutter Mermaid, careened in a sheltered bay on the north-west Kimberley coast and the ship’s carpenter inscribed ‘HMC MERMAID 1820’ on a large boab tree. Two hundred years later, the significance of Careening Bay to Western Australia’s science and conservation history and the role of Indigenous crew members, is being recognised and honoured.

Professor Kevin Kenneally from the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment joined us on “Remember When” to tell us about this fascinating story.

Download this podcast here

Harvey Deegan
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