May 21, 2013

Governor Arthur Phillip

Lost the plot

You could say he was the first great Australian, our founding father. Governor Arthur Phillip was certainly the first to see that New South Wales could be anything more than a convict settlement, a dumping ground for the dregs of society. 

So you'd think he'd be a revered, a national treasure. Well he's certainly not in Britain. His last days there were dismal, his death suspicious and then there's a deep, dark mystery. A scandal.

 Put bluntly, the Poms lost the plot. Somehow, through carelessness, incompetence, or both, they've lost Governor Phillip's remains. But fear not, there's a dogged Aussie sleuth on the case.


Liam Bartlett: This is an intriguing mystery, spanning more than 200 years and two continents. It takes us from the shores of Sydney Cove to a sleepy corner of England. It's a search with many twists and turns. The search for an all-but-forgotten national hero: Captain Arthur Phillip.

Geoffrey Robertson: Phillip was, in a word, our founding father. He was the man who got us up, I mean we would be French, we would be — horrible to think of it — a Portuguese colony if it weren't for Phillip's success.

Liam Bartlett: Six years ago, renowned Australian lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson . . . 

See full Transcript here.

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