Growing up in Australia, the school curriculum teaches us that the Englishman Captain James Cook discovered Australia in 1770 (or at least it was the eastern side). Likewise one may hear a brief mention of the Dutch who made contact with the western and northern sides of Australia in the 17th Century. In any case when it came to history, national or international, we only heard of a selected Eurocentric version. Sad is the case when the rich history between the Indonesians and the Indigenous Australians is not given any mention in our school curriculum.
[A replica of Captain Cooks ship (The Endeavour) can usually be found docked beside the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Ironically, inside the Museum, one can find a nice description of the Indonesian fishermen who visited Australia over one hundred years before Captain Cook. On display is an array of artefacts which the Indonesians left behind as proof of their frequent contact.]
Muslim fishermen from Sulawesi Island in the Indonesian archipelago began collecting trepang (sea slug or sea cucumber) from Australias north as early as the mid 1600s. It was not until the 1700s and throughout the 1800s that the trepang trade was in full swing