First Fleet Memorial

Public Art : First Fleet Memorial in Sydney



Date Unveiled :

Location :


First Fleet Memorial

This memorial commemorates the voyage and arrival in Sydney of the First Fleetwhich brought to Australia its first European settlers under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. R.N. The Fleet sailed from Portsmouth on 13th May, 1787, and anchored in Sydney Cove at a spot just north of this memorial on 26th January, 1788.

The Fleet comprised eleven ships, H.M.S SIRIUS flagship, H.M.S. SUPPLY an armed tender, Six transports ALEXANDER, LADY PENRHYN, CHARLOTTE, SCARBOROUGH, FRIENDSHIP, and the PRINCE OF WALES, together with three store ships FISHBURN, GOLDEN GROVE and BORROWDALE. At departure they carried a total complement of about 1487 who embarked at Plymouth, Portsmouth and the Thames.

The plinth of the memorial was donated by the Fellowship of The First Fleeters, all of whom are direct descendants of those who arrived with the First Fleet. The granite block above the plinth was quarried at Dartmoor, England and donated to the City of Sydney by the City of Portsmouthas a return gift from a similar block of granite from N.S.W. given to them by the City.It was set in place the Lord Mayor of Sydney on the 2nd of July, 1980.

The sculpture , Bonds Of Friendship, was presented by the Bank of N.S.W. It is a companion piece to the one proposed by the Lord Mayor's Australian Settlers Commemoration Comittee of Portsmouth and which is located near the Sally Port at Portsmouth Harbour through which Captain Phillip and many of his fellow voyagers passed on their way to embark.

The Bonds of Friendship symbolizes the closeness of the ties that were forged between Portsmouth and Sydneyas a result of the the voyage of the First Fleet and represents a links in a chain joining both cities . It was designed by John Robinson. The donor , The Bank of New South Waleswas the first bank and the first corporation established in Australia.

The Bonds of Friendship was unveiled on the 17th of September, 1980.

His Excellency Sir Zelman Cowan, A.K., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.ST.J., Q.C.
Governor General of Australia

Alderman Nelson Meers
Lord Mayor

L.P. Carter O.B.E.
Town Clerk

Mrs B. Lewis - President
Fellowship of the First Fleeters

Sir Nopi Foley O.B.E.
President Bank of New South Wales

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