Descendant of first contact says Australia was invaded 'by gunfire'

Jun 25, 2016, 07:59 AM

Rodney Kelly is the sixth generation descendant of the Gweagal aboriginal warrior, Cooman, who was shot by Captain Cook's landing party at Botany Bay in April 1770. Kelly says Australia was invaded 'by gunfire'.

He says the shield belonging to Cooman still has white ochre on it from that day, and a musket hole from when his ancestor was fired upon.

The shield has been preserved in the British Museum for more than 240 years.

Now, Rodney Kelly is crowdfunding so he can travel to the UK to meet with the British Museum and continue his campaign for the shield's return to Australia.

'We feel [the shield] takes us back to a time before the British come here, it connects us back a long time ago. It's just significant, we have lost a lot of history, we've lost a lot of things,' says Kelly.

'For this shield to be connected to us is very significant and makes us very proud. We we just want it to come back home to Australia.'

ABC Radio - RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly