Blue Mountains City Council




 

Bicentenary of the Crossings

In 2015 the Blue Mountains concludes three years of commemoration of the Bicentenary of the first successful Explorer Crossings of the Blue Mountains - Wentworth, Lawson and Blaxland, the work of surveyor George Evans, construction of 163 kilometres of road under the supervision of William Cox and the first journey inland by the NSW Governor Lachlan MacArthur, who in 1815 made his first journey via the new Cox’s Road out to Bathurst. Ultimately these crossings were significant in ensuring the survival of the fledgling colony.

The Centenary of the Explorer Crossings in 1913 was well attended and celebrated in the context of Australia’s early days of Federation, with a sense of national identity strongly focused on the country’s part in the British Empire. This time, the Bicentenary commemorations were reinterpreted by a nation well established in its own right, with a unique national identity and the desire to express a modern perspective of a ‘shared history’. Able to acknowledge and include the story of the indigenous people of the Darug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri nations, and how the crossings and eventual settlement of the Blue Mountains impacted their people, tradition and culture, makes the story one that has evolved into a more considered and a better understanding of our history and appreciation for what the Blue Mountains has become today.

The three years of commemoration featured an extensive program of events, including the Blue Wave re-enactment, the Blue Mountains City Council Civic Commemoration at Mount York and the Bicentenary Flyover. The Blue Mountains City Council would like to thank the many committees, event coordinators, police, traffic management consultants, rural fire service volunteers, schools, businesses, volunteers and significant individuals for their contributions in the planning, coordination and delivery of the Bicentenary event program.