The people of the Bunerong lived in the Mornington Peninsula region for many thousands of years.
On 9 October, 1803 HMS "Calcutta" under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff entered Port Phillip Bay carrying David Collins the Lieutenant Governor to the proposed first officîal European settlement in Victoria. Collins was accompanied by 11 civil officers, 49 officers and men of the Royal Marines, 300 convicts with a total of 41 family members. A contingent of 54 free settlers including families also formed part of the expedition. Stores and provisions for the new settlement were carried on the ship "Ocean" which had arrived two days earlier.
The settlement was to be established to give a British presence on the newly identified Bass Strait,
to relieve the pressure on convict numbers in Sydney and to forestall French intentions to colonize the region.
Collins chose the site here at Sullivan Bay for the settlement. Unloading of the supplies and personnel commenced on 12 October, 1803. The settlement lasted only 8 months due to the lack of fresh water and fertile land in the area and was transferred to Van Diemen's Land, the last of the settlement leaving on 20 May 1804.
While at Port Phillip some 11 convicts escaped of whom 4 were recaptured, 6 are presumed to have perished and one, William Buckley, remained at large for 31 years with the Aborigines. Other than the convicts who perished after escaping there were 19 deaths; 15 convicts, settler John Careys Skelthorn, Private Thomas Hoge and babies Sarah Fletcher and Ann Wiggins. Most of these were buried by Rev. Robert Knopwood in a small cemetery somewhere near the settlement! William James Hobart Thorne was born 25 November, 1803, Elizabeth Ingle on 14 April 1804, and convict Richard Garrett married Hannah Harvey on 28 November, 1803
This Monument is to commemorate the bicentenary of that settlement and all the people who landed here in the first attempt to colonize the Port Phillip District.