Woollarawarre Bennelong holds a unique place in Australian history. The best-known Aboriginal figure in the early decades of colonial settlement, he was one of the first indigenous Australians to be introduced to European ways. Forging a friendship with Governor Arthur Phillip, he was taken to London and introduced to  society.

Not only did he learn to speak English quickly, but he penned the first known text in English by an Aboriginal person – a letter written to Governor Phillips’ wife,...

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