King Bungaree was truly a pioneer hero of early Australia, for he was here before Europeans arrived on the island continent in 1788. He was quick to adopt both the manners and 'carriage' of the invaders of his dominion, becoming an renowned favourite with governors from Phillip to Brisbane. They used to invite him to all the lavish dinners at Government House. Here his deportment was at its peak. Each governor had given him some cast-off 'regimentals'. In Phillip's case, these garments must have been a tight fit, for the Governor was only a small man.
Guests at Government House were often amused the next day by a very 'different' Bungaree in a dirty shirt, filthy dungarees and bootless, cadging a coin (or a dump) from them as them promenaded.
Bungaree was an excellent and subtle mimic, his favourite subjects being the various governors, except the present-day one, upon whom he relied for patronage. As a 'supernumerary', in the early 19th century he sailed on voyages with the explorers Matthew Flinders and Philip Parker King. Subsequently, in 1815, the government set aside a portion of Georges Head for Bungaree and his stalwarts. He died and was interred at Garden Island on 29th November, 1830.