New mural at Cronulla records pivotal moment in Australia's history


A powerful new art work, depicting the arrival of the Endeavour in 1770 and the first encounter on the east coast of Australia between Europeans and Indigenous people, has been installed beside Cronulla beach.

The work, titled The Power of One 2021, was created by First Nations artist Brian Robinson on marine grade aluminium panels, which underwent detailed print making processes.

The images in the mural are in layers and need to be viewed up close for full appreciation. Photos don't show the depth of the work.

A team of workers installed the aluminium panels on the wall of the Cronulla Park lookout on Wednesday.

Sutherland Shire Council initiated the project, which involved collaboration between Mr Robinson and the council's Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

A council statement said the project was one of a series tied to acknowledging the pivotal moment in Australia's history 250 years ago and aligned with the council's commitment to ensuring the cultural heritage of the traditional owners of the region was consistently acknowledged and respected.

"Following several applications from interested artists, First Nations artist Brian Robinson was selected to commission the original public artwork to form part of the community lookout at Cronulla Park," the council said.

"This site is a major destination point for Cronulla residents and visitors to the region, offering expansive views across the ocean to Kurnell Peninsula, where the first contact between members of the Gweagal clan and the crew of the His Majesty's (HM) Bark Endeavour occurred on the southern shores of Kamay Botany Bay in 1770."

The council's director of Infrastructure Peter Hazeldine said, "This representation of Sutherland Shire's significant local history presents an opportunity for residents and visitors to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of local First Nations' heritage".

"The installation of this artwork and the collaborative process by which it was formed represents our commitment to reflecting on this pivotal moment and fostering a deeper understanding of and connection to our community's First Nations culture," he said.

"Mr Robinson worked collaboratively with council's Aboriginal Advisory Committee to introduce a site-specific, visual experience and interpretation of the meeting of two cultures and celebrate the culture of the traditional owners of this land."

Mr Robinson has been commissioned for works across Australia and is recognised for his printmaking, sculpture and public art.

"The council is proud the latest work from such an accomplished and celebrated artist will be shared by our community for generations to come," the statement said.