Leader of the first circumnavigation of Australia, Captain Matthew Flinders RN (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) made three voyages to the southern ocean between 1791 and 1810.
As commander of the Investigator, Flinders circumnavigated the mainland and created the first complete map of the continent on his third voyage in 1801.
Although he returned home in 1810, Flinders did not live to see the publication of his monumental work, A Voyage to Terra Australis, dying one day after its publication on 19 July 1814. That work – including a journal, maps, atlas and countless drawings – is an essential historical document that contributed to the naming of our country.
Matthew Flinders’ work and influence lives on, and his name is associated with more than 100 geographical features and places in Australia. Having extensively explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in 1802, he is of particular importance to South Australia.
Flinders is remembered for his sense of adventure, his innovations in navigation and cartography, his groundbreaking scientific work, his embrace of technology, and his consideration for his crew’s health and wellbeing – all qualities that make him a suitable inspiration to Flinders University.
Flinders University continues to evoke the intrepid spirit of Matthew Flinders, inspiring its students to achieve their highest potential, encouraging intellectual and cultural curiosity, and fostering a global perspective.
I have too much ambition to rest in the unnoticed middle order of mankind.
Flinders University continues to evoke the pioneering spirit of its namesake, Captain Matthew Flinders RN. For almost 50 years, Flinders University has inspired our students to achieve their highest potential, encouraged intellectual and cultural curiosity, and fostered a global perspective. Today, our graduates identify with – and can be distinguished by – these distinctive academic, professional and cultural characteristics.
To commemorate the explorer’s achievements, a bronze statue – by Britain’s most noted sculptor Mark Richards FRBS – was unveiled at Euston Station in London in 2014.
Proceeds from the sale of limited edition bronze maquettes of the statue will contribute to the ‘Matthew Flinders Statue Scholarship’ established to further develop educational links between South Australia and the UK.
One maquette has created quite a stir in the media with regards to the company it’s keeping – read the full article: Matthew Flinders statue features in London photocall with Michelle Obama and Prince Harry.
In 2016, the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Malcomn Turnbull, unveiled a full-sized replica of the statue here at Flinders University's Tonsley precinct.