Case Study X: James Cook through Indigenous eyes

Claire Smith, Tracy Ireland, Kellie Pollard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A planned commemorative memorial at Botany Bay, the site of James Cook’s landing in Australia, received backlash from those who claimed that colonisation led to the destruction of Indigenous Australian culture. ‘No Pride in Genocide’ was scrawled on a Cook statue. In response, the government worked with leaders of the Indigenous community to create an inclusive 250th anniversary event that embraced the two conflicting narratives. This case provides an example of how a historically marginalised community helped shape a more inclusive national narrative, and demonstrates how meaningful stakeholder engagement can address a potentially volatile contestation. Furthermore, the case illustrates the way a new counter-monument can recontextualise or redefine a contested statue or site, providing opportunity for a fuller and more inclusive historical narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContested Histories in Public Spaces
Subtitle of host publication Principles, Processes, Best Practices
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherInternational Bar Association
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • contested histories
  • memorials
  • Captain Cook
  • contact archaeology


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