Governor Richard Bourke Commemorated

On 3 December 1831 Irishman Major-General Richard Bourke arrived in Sydney to begin a six-year term as the eighth governor of the colony of New South Wales.images
On the 184th anniversary of Bourke’s arrival, his contribution to the colony was marked by a reception at Government House in Sydney hosted by the current governor General David Hurley and Mrs Hurley.
During the evening the invited guests were informed and entertained by talks on Bourke given by Dr Richard O’Brien, who spoke on Bourke’s relationship with his cousin Edmund Burke; Professor Tony Parr, who spoke on Bourke’s period as acting governor in Cape Colony; and Dr Jeff Brownrigg, who spoke on Bourke and music in colonial Australia.
This event was followed by a colloquium in Canberra on the 7th and 8th December at the Australian National University. Speakers included those from the Government House reception, who expanded on their topics. Other input came from: Dr Christine Wright who spoke on Bourke’s soldiering skills; Dr David Roberts on Bourke’s ‘convicts’; Dr Richard Reid on Bourke and immigration; Dr Jeff Kildea on Bourke’s law; Prof John Molony on Bourke and Plunkett; Dr Cheryl Mongan on Bourke and his Australian travels; Dr James Warden on Bourke and Batman’s ‘treaty’ with the Aborigines; and Dr David Headon on Bourke’s statue in Sydney. It is proposed to publish the papers in an edited collection in the near future.

2 thoughts on “Governor Richard Bourke Commemorated

  1. Please advise when and where the papers for the Governor Richard Bourke Commemoration are published

    • Dear Max Waugh,
      I’ve got the information you need more readily than I imagined was possible. Richard O’Brien, the former ambassador, kindly supplied these details:

      There were in fact two ‘Richard Bourke’ events.

      One took the form of the annual UNSW Patrick O’Farrell Memorial Lecture – which was hosted by the Governor of NSW at Government House in Sydney. Because of the location it was an event by invitation – the guests (limited to about 100) were those who have over the years contributed to the campaign to establish an Irish Studies Chair at UNSW. There were three presentations – each of some 15 to 18 minutes: I spoke on Edmund Burke & Richard Bourke & Ireland; Professor Tony Parr from California spoke on Richard Bourke and the Cape Colony; and Professor Jeff Brownrigg (the driving force behind the entire project) spoke about Bourke in Australia availing of the lengthy inscription on Richard Bourke’s Memorial now located in the grounds of Sydney’s Mitchell Library. I understand that the Government House event will be reported on in some detail in a forthcoming edition of the magazine of the Australian Historical Society.

      The second event was a two day Colloquium at ANU – where Jeff Brownrigg in an Adjunct Professor – and involved some ten detailed presentations. …. The intention as I understand it is to publish the collected proceedings of the Colloquium. However, this is unlikely to take place in the short term – and will indeed ultimately depend on a series of requirements – finalization and editing of papers – identification of a suitable publisher – and all the other challenges that you will be much more familiar with than I.

      … the authoritative person to contact is Jeff Brownrigg – who initiated and continues to mastermind all of the many and complex organizational challenges of such a process – and who is most easily reached by phone at (02) 6254 0340.

      Thanks for your query, and hope you get the information you need from Jeff, as I’m sure you will; he’s a very helpful person. f.

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