Invasion Day, Captain Cook’s Only Sin Was To Discover Australia.

Written by Andy

Howard Dewhirst – The Spectator Australia

12 February, 2024

Can there ever have been such a pathetic example of historical mis-and-disinformation as the Woke claim that the discovery of Australia by Captain Cook and the subsequent landing of British convicts at what became Sydney, was an ‘invasion’? Arriving at Botany Bay on January 24, 1788, the fleet of eleven ships comprised two naval ships (with a complement of marines to become prison guards), three supply ships, and six transports. In total, some 800 convicts had been sentenced to seven years or more in the yet to be created colony. Has there ever been such an invasion fleet?

The world’s history is punctuated with what rightly are called invasions, where an army from one country marches or sails into that of another with the intent of taking control of that country. Some were successful, some were not; many are famous and their leader’s names are well remembered. The Arab conquest of Spain which began in 711 AD, was a long-resented invasion, and was eventually reversed in 1492, the same year that Columbus stumbled on the New World. This discovery of the New World was followed by a whole raft of invasions by generally small armies of Portuguese and Spanish soldiers. When it was over, most of Central and South America and the southern half of what became the USA, had been thoroughly ‘invaded’ and ‘colonised’. This military conquest and its accompanying Old World diseases. such as smallpox and measles, resulted in the near or complete extinction of many of the New World’s indigenous societies. But each invasion was different.

The first was of the Mayan Empire centred on the Yucatan Peninsula and was a long drawn-out affair beginning in 1517, accelerating briefly under Cortes from 1525, but not completed until 1697. The Aztec Empire in Mexico was attacked by Cortes in 1519 and overwhelmed two years later by his relatively small force of Spaniards with the help of indigenous enemies of the Aztecs. Much later, in 1592, Pizarro with 170 men, one cannon, and 27 horses conquered the Incas of Peru, an empire that stretched from Bolivia to Central Chile.

Were these ‘invasions’ even remotely similar to the founding of the penal colony of New South Wales?

With the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, the Pope divided the planet into two halves, along a meridional 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, awarding the Portuguese what became Brazil and much of Africa and Asia, and Spain all the rest; that is until the Dutch, French, and British ‘settled’ in the Caribbean and the northern parts of South America and eastern seaboard of North America. Not content, these belligerent Europeans invaded much of the rest of the world following the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan.

What drove this surge of exploration activity was another invasion, this time the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, closing off trade routes between Europe and the Far East. The famed Silk Road later explored by Marco Polo had existed since well before the invasion and conquest of what is now the Middle East and Western Pakistan by Alexander the Great.

Was any of this even remotely like the ‘invasion’ of Australia?

Perhaps the British and French settlements along the eastern coastline of North America… Convict transportation was used initially to provide labour, and it was the successful revolution or War of Independence that drove the British government to find an alternative location for its expanding class of convicts. The French also set up a prison colony on Devil’s Island offshore Cayenne in 1852 in what had become French Guiana, but unlike Australia it operated as a prison until 1952.

By a stroke of luck, or misfortune depending on your perspective, he arrived in Botany Bay on January 24, 1788, just ahead of two French ships. Two days later he moved the fleet to Port Jackson in what is now Sydney Harbour, leaving the French ships in Botany Bay. Captain, later Governor Phillip, as commander of the First Fleet, opened his orders from the British Crown only when he arrived in Port Jackson and, following those instructions, he sparked the process that began the making of today’s Australia. What a different history there might have been if the French had taken possession of the harbour before the First Fleet’s arrival. Certainly, future Australia Days would not have been celebrated in English on January 26. Would it have been better if say each state was created by a different Western power, a French NSW, a Dutch WA, a Spanish SA, a German NT, and a Portuguese Tasmania, each with their own foundation day and mimicking the politics of their homeland towards each other? But even if Arthur Phillip had been beaten to the post by the French, what is certain is that colonisation would happen.

What were his orders in terms of the indigenous inhabitants? Was he to dispatch his troops to conquer the indigenous population? No, he was to ‘conciliate their affections … to live in amity and kindness with them’ and to punish anyone under his command who should ‘wantonly destroy them or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations’. Hardly the stuff of ‘invasions’… Phillip wrote that he hoped to ‘give them a High Opinion of their New Guests’ through kindness and gifts. Indeed, when he was struck with a spear by an Aboriginal, he refused to have the man punished. He also decreed that there would be no slavery in this new colony, and that the indigenous inhabitants were to have the same rights under law as any other of the Crown’s subjects.

To suggest that the British descent onto Sydney Cove and elsewhere in Australia was an ‘invasion’ would require that we need a new word to describe Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, and Hitler’s similarly unprofitable invasion in 1942. Persia’s two equally unsuccessful invasions of Ancient Greece in 490 and 480 BC, and the Crusaders’ capture of Jerusalem in 1099, each qualify as invasions, as do the multiple armies that descended on Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Huns led by Attila, Vandals, Alans, Goths and Arabs, then several hundred years later, the Mongols lead by Genghis Khan; and that is just in Western Europe and the Middle East.

In 1066, King Harold and his Saxon army rushed north to defeat a Viking invasion of England, then rushed south to die at the Battle of Hastings, unsuccessfully trying to turn back the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror. The list of invasions is endless, but does not include the activities of the First Fleet. Captain Phillip would have laughed at being ‘elevated’ into such a pantheon, as would Captain Cook, whose only sin was to discover Australia, as Columbus’s was to discover the New World, and for these ‘sins’, their statues are toppled and their reputation pilloried by those who seem to know nothing of history but the distorted Woke view that anything done by ‘white’ Europeans is automatically wrong.


Whichever way you look at it, there was never an invasion of Australia.

My understanding is that the Mabo decision did not apply to the mainland.
Here’s an article on the Mabo decision that may be of interest to you:

Where did the Mabo decision say that?
Please cite your source effectively in order to substantiate your allegation.

Nikki Nunnari
It is my “understanding” – I ‘alleged’ nothing.
“In the result, six members of the Court (Dawson J. dissenting) are in agreement that the common law of this country recognizes a form of native title which, in the cases where it has not been extinguished, reflects the entitlement of the indigenous inhabitants, in accordance with their laws or customs, to their traditional lands and that, subject to the effect of some particular Crown leases, the land entitlement of the Murray Islanders in accordance with their laws or customs is preserved, as native title, under the law of Queensland.
The Murray Islands lie in the Torres Strait, at about 10 degrees S. Latitude and 144 degrees E. Longitude. They are the easternmost of the Eastern Islands of the Strait. Their total land area is of the order of 9 square kilometres. The biggest is Mer (known also as Murray Island), oval in shape about 2.79 kms long and about 1.65 kms across. A channel about 900 m. wide separates Mer from the other two islands, Dauar and Waier, which lie closely adjacent to each other to the south of Mer. The Islands are surrounded for the most part by fringing reefs. The people who were in occupation of these Islands before first European contact and who have continued to occupy those Islands to the present day are known as the Meriam people. Although outsiders, relatively few in number, have lived on the Murray Islands from time to time and worked as missionaries, government officials, or fishermen, there has not been a permanent immigrant population. Anthropological records and research show that the present inhabitants of the Islands are descended from the people described in early European reports. The component of foreign ancestry among the present population is small compared with most communities living in the Torres Strait. The Meriam people of today retain a strong sense of affiliation with their forbears and with the society and culture of earlier times. They have a strong sense of identity with their Islands. The plaintiffs are members of the Meriam people.
𝙄𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙨𝙚, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙖𝙡 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙢 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙮 𝙄𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣.”
There is a substantial amount of reading matter around Mabo – before – during – and after the decision – that may be of interest to you.

Sandy Bulley
Well written! When our history was taught in schools, as it was for decades, we knew the real Australian history. When that history was no longer being taught,a new generation took the opportunity to try & change the real history with the garbage being shoved at us now. It suits the agendas of mostly city elite activists to demand claims on lands that have been developed by white colonists & no input from those that have become very wealthy at the expense of their fellow indiginious people. Those in government now are following the communist agendas of the UN,WHO WEF & the like. They have deliberatly divided our once great nation with lies, misinformation for their treaterous agendas & need to be held accountable!

William Ogle
Cook sailed north from Botany Bay. He didn’t enter “Sydney Harbor”. He noted it was the mouth of a very large river.

Michael Lewington
Just had a gut full of the whingers with thier hands out all the time. The more they get the more they want. Tell them to go away and work like most everyone else.

Dennis Bullard
I have to add that it is not the blacks that are changing history to suit themselves and the UN WEF and WHO. If these organisatioins can convince you there was an invasion then to the victors goes the land. That way they can bring in the full reset of their agenda.If there was No invasion then the land was never ceded and so they cannot force their agenda on the people . YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THOSE CALLING IT AN INVASION ARE THE DILUTED! People with names like Pearson,Burney, Kelly, Thorpe. Names of European and Irish heritage. They are quick to level the blame to whites, even though they have more white heritage than black. These people are mostly rejected by the aboriginal tribes and don’t fit into white society either. I believe they are trying to justify themselves in a world that they feel rejects them. I wonder if they abused their white parents and grandparents for invading the country and giving them birth.

Robyn Williams
Thank you for sharing this in-depth account of the founding of our great country. I was taught Australian history at school with the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog discovering our country in 1616. Why has the ridiculous rhetoric being thrown at us now suddenly shameful?

McEwan Joanne
And what would have happened if the Dutch continued and discovered all of Australia! They would have wiped out the indigenous.

Theresa McCosker
You just have to look what happened in South America, with the Spanish invasion. Wiped many cultures out. 🥲

Markus Barnett
They can’t kick us out. so their next move is to shame us for being Australian. by weaponising their assault. on the very day that we get to celebrate being Australian.
One has to understand that these people have very different ideas on why we are all here.
According to them. we are the enemy. we are trespassing on their land. even if most of us have a birth certificate that say’s otherwise. we are still living on their land. even if the land is owned privately or by the crown. registered in the Australian title deeds office. it’s still their land.
I find the situation extremely intolerable. when after so many years from when this country was first colonised to become a country that is now. the envy of the rest of the world. that our Aboriginal people have nothing better to do. than try to stop the advancement of a nation that has no other way to go but to grow upwards. for which these people do not wish to do. forgive, forget. move on. as living in the past has no place if you wish to move forward in life. you are stuck. going nowhere. is this what they really want in life. One has to wonder.

Neil Clarke
None of those original European arrivals wanted to be sent here.

Judy Norman
No such Invasion. It does not exist.

Rachael Mary Redhead
But he didn’t. Others had been here before.

Melanie Hannan
What ever word is used, it can be acknowledged that England sent prisoners here as they did to America because they were running out of room in their prisons.
What I don’t understand is the level of retrospection that continues, on the past which is crippling some from making a positive future? Many Australians don’t have a link to that convict history and many of our families came to escape trauma in the country of origin. Continuing to blame and batter others is not helpful. One of the first pieces of work for any one or group is to, yes acknowledge the bad things that happened ( they did happen to the convicts as well, who were brought here against their will), and then explore what is keeping the person or group stuck. Then exploring what the future can look like, how the past can be left there and a new story be developed for the future. In the end we are the masters of our destiny. The survivors of the holocaust show us how to survive and thrive after terrible trauma. More locally the Torres Strait Islanders are very actively taking charge of their journey moving forward.
I also don’t understand the hate that some have for the mixed races that make them? It like the only race that’s legitimate is the Aboriginal race? Look on any fory field and you will see people who call themselves Aboriginal but clearly are mixed with a number of other races. Why are we teaching our young people to be ashamed of who they are, sadly I guess that will be the next “shame ” that will need apologies. We all need to stand up and take responsibility for who we are, how we feel and which path we are on. If we need help around that, great get it but at the end of the day we are steering our ship and the way we do this, will guide the ones coming after us. Sailing in deep water or run aground, it’s up to us.

Deb Hem
That doesn’t suit the narrative! 🧐🫤😏🤨

Deanna Payne
He died nine years before Phillip arrived with convicts who were ill from the trip, which took months. No army – no invasion.

Helen Parry
As the aboriginals did – we arrived in Australia. There was never an invasion. We need to ensure the true facts are taught throughout our education system and everywhere else in Australia. This pathetic, woke selection of facts by the politicians, activists and woke section of our society needs to stop. Our children are being indoctrinated into not being able to have all the facts to form an opinion, except one that has an agenda, in so many areas of our society. Parents need to be strong enough to stop the rot in our education system!!!!!

Bill Rogers
Captain Cook brought civilisation with him, and the wheel.

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