Do the twists and turns of history fascinate you? They do me. Western Australia was claimed by the British, but before then it was claimed by the French in 1772. French explorers sailed the west coast of Australia on scientific expeditions and their presence is reflected in place names such as Geographe Bay, it being named after Le Geographe one of the two ships from the 1800 Baudin Expedition.
British settlement — first a military base in Albany in 1826 and then the Swan River Colony, in what is now Perth, in 1829 — occurred much later.
All the time, the Nyungar people continued to live on and love their land. The history of invasion and dispossession remains painful.
But there is a charm to the early French expectations of Western Australia. They thought giants lived here. Shino Konishi gives a very readable account.
In naming my fictional southwestern Australian town, I give a nod to this history. Jardin — or “garden” — Bay feels very real to me.