The sculpture commemorates the Kelpie / Cattle dog cross known as "Red Dog". The nickname, "Red Dog" has been attributed to the red dirt of the Pilbara Region.

Red Dog was born in the Pararburdoo in 1971 and he and his original owner later moved across the Pilbara to Dampier, where the first Red Dog sculpture was erected in 1979, honouring the kelpie's famous travels and friendships across thousands of kilometres in the north-west.

Red Dog travelled between Perth and Broome, and was known by many of the locals throughout the Pilbara and he travelled to many locations including Karratha, Dampier, Roebourne, Point Sampson, Port Hedland, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Broome and even Perth.

He had an amazing homing instinct, always returning to either Dampier or Karratha where he preferred to base himself.  He died in November 1979, believed to have been poisoned by strychnine bait.  He is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere between Dampier and Karratha.

The beloved kelpie who wandered and hitchhiked his way around the Pilbara in the 1970s and was immortalised in film now has a new honour, with a sculpture depicting the Pilbara legend unveiled in Paraburdoo. The unveiling marked the culmination of a project which began in 2018 with a request made to the Shire of Ashburton council by a former student at Paraburdoo Primary School, Holly Dutch.

According to Australia’s Northwest tourism agency, Red Dog was originally named Tally Ho and became a fixture at local mining projects, travelling on company buses and iron ore trains. After his final human companion died, Red Dog took to wandering the Pilbara and was cared for by locals, including the Karratha vet.

The statue’s preparations began in 2019, but its completion was hampered by various roadblocks, including COVID-19 lockdowns and bushfires down south. Smith Sculptures was commissioned to create the statue, and the company worked with Red Dog’s vet, Doctor Rick Fenny, and Holly herself.

A statement by the Shire of Ashburton said the statue was a testament to the sense of camaraderie, cooperation, and community spirit that characterises the Pilbara, making it a wonderful place to call home. It comes after, in 2020, the Karratha-Tom Price Road was renamed the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway, honouring the Pilbara’s most famous pooch.
Pilbara News (WA) 10 April 2023. 


Address:Camp Road, Paraburdoo Information Bay, Paraburdoo, 6754
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.203911
Long: 117.670541
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Culture
Artist:Smith Sculptors (Sculptures)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 4th April, 2023
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Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au