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Our History

Cooktown Reenactment Association

Our main objective is the same as it was in 1959 - to grow the economy of our community.
We continue to present the Re-enactment, our core activity, but have broadened the events for a wider appeal to Festival goers bringing more interest to our community.
Close examination of the journals of Cook, Banks and Parkinson have revealed a treasure trove of stunning and thought provoking historical facts which are not common knowledge and when known more widely, could alter the known history of our Nation.

These unique historical facts were highlighted at a Symposium which was held in November 2011.
We have identified a number of new projects which will benefit our people such as European and Indigenous Captain Cook Tours, a Self Guided Audio Walk and Guurma's with traditional indigenous foods and entertainment, books and other merchandise.

We are currently working with Cook Shire Council to increase the amount of signage at relevant historical locations throughout the town; Grassy Hill, Endeavour's Landing Site, Careening Site, and Reconciliation Rocks.



The latter has been identified as the First Reconciliation Place in our country.
Also of unique historical interest is the first clear sighting of the Ganguuru.
Not only was it sighted, it was shot by Lt Gore, eaten by Cook and his men, drawn by Sydney Parkinson and more importantly, it was named here.

Banks and Cook both sat and spoke on six occasions with the Guugu Yimithirrbama but it was Sydney Parkinson who was to record 156 words of the language of these people for the very first time.

Was this the first meaningful contact between the indigenous people of Australia and Europeans?
Was this the first recorded written language of the Indigenous people of Australia?.

Cook landed 13 times on the East Coast of Australia - 12 of them in Queensland waters.
He named 106 places on the East Coast, 83 of them in Queensland waters.

After the Endeavour struck the reef, she was brought into Endeavour River for repairs.
Would she have returned to England to report the finding of this land to the British Admiralty if this safe harbour had not been found?
What would have happened if the Endeavour had sunk?
Would all souls have drowned as very few sailors could swim at that time?
This is a unique place in Australia and our people will continue to work together to achieve long term benefits for us all. The shared history and culture of the people of our community is the social glue which inextricably binds us together forever.

We implore you to recognise this ground breaking information and allow the Endeavour River [Waalumbaal Birri] to take its rightful place in the annals of Australia’s history.