from Two Years in New South Wales (1828)

Peter Miller Cunningham made five trips to New South Wales as surgeon on convict ships between 1819 and 1828, and for a time became a grazier on the Upper Hunter River:

Our colonial-born brethren are best known here by the name of Currency, in contradistinction to Sterling, or those born in the mother country. The name was originally given by a facetious paymaster of the seventy-third regiment quartered here, the pound currency being at that time inferior to the pound sterling…

The Currency youths are warmly attached to their country, which they deem unsurpassable, and few ever visit England without hailing the day of their return as the most delightful in their lives; while almost everything in the parent-land sinks in relative value with similar objects at home. Indeed, when comparing the exhilarating summer aspect of Sydney, with its cloudless sky, to the dingy gloom of a London street, no wonder a damp should be cast over the ethereal spirits of those habituated to the former…

-Peter Cunningham, Scottish, 1789-1864
Jeff Carter, Girl wearing a polka dot bikini and holding a surfboard, Manly, New South Wales, ca. 1957. (National Library of Australia)


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