Lachlan Macquarie is credited with shaping Australia’s destiny, transforming a harsh, foreboding penal colony into an agricultural powerhouse and ultimately a prosperous society.
He also helped shape Australia’s national character. An egalitarian at heart, Macquarie saw boundless potential in Britain’s refuse, and under his rule many former convicts went on to become successful administrators, landowners and business people.
However, the governor’s ambitions for the colony (which he lobbied to have renamed ‘Australia’) brought him into conflict with the continent’s original land owners, and he was responsible for the deaths of Aboriginal men, women and children, brutally killed in a military operation intended to create terror among local indigenous people.
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