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John Oxley

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John Oxley

John Oxley (1783 - May 26, 1828) was an early Australian explorer. He was born in Yorkshire, England. Oxley joined the navy and travelled to Australia on the Buffalo. For a short time he was ordered to Van Diemen's Land, which is today known as Tasmania. After this he returned to England until he was appointed Surveyor-General of New South Wales in 1812. 5 years laters John Oxley was to begin his career as an explorer.

He successfully completed the 1817 expedition to the Lachlan and Macquarie rivers with the botantist Allan Cunningham. His explorations were written up as Journals of Two Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales, undertaken by order of the British government in the years 1817-18.

In 1818 Oxley discovered Dubbo. The diaries of his explorations suggest that he was in the area of Dubbo on June 12, 1818. He wrote that he had passed that day 'over a very beautiful country, thinly wooded and apparently safe from the highest floods...'

In 1819 Oxley sailed to Jervis Bay but found it unsuitable for settlement.

In 1823 John Oxley set out northwards along the coastline, in the ship Mermaid to explore Port Curtis and Moreton Bay. He explored the region, including travelling 100 km up what Oxley later name the Brisbane River.

In 1824 he discovered the Brisbane River. He then recommended to Governor Brisbane, the site for the convict settlement on Moreton Bay which has since developed into the city of Brisbane.

The Oxley Highway in New South Wales is named after John Oxley, as is the Federal electorate and suburb of Oxley in Brisbane

Further reading

  • Ernest Favenc - The Explorers of Australia and their Life-Work - available as Ebook #10840 from the Project Gutenberg.
  • Australian Explorer: John Oxley by Jo Jensen
  • John Oxley, Journals of two expeditions into the interior of New South Wales, undertaken by order of the British government in the years 1817-18, 1820. State Reference Library: Rare Books RB/Q991A/9, LQ10/O c.2, RB/EQ919.44/OXL. Dixson Library: Q82/74 c. 3

External links

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