Penny Olsen


Eight months after leaving Portsmouth, and two since the Cape of Good Hope, young Midshipman George Raper must have been very glad to see the gentle, bleached hills of New Holland. From the deck of HMS Sirius, flagship of the eleven ships now known as the First Fleet and carrying the convicts and marines who were to establish the new British colony, Raper may well have spotted the seabirds that signalled the fleet’s approach to land. Birds would provide him with recreation, companionship and sustenance in the new colony and feature among the artwork that forms his major legacy.



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