Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page

09-March-2021 (Grzegorz  Dabrowa)
09-March-2021 (Grzegorz Dabrowa)

Photographs supplied by Kosciuszko Heritage Inc (Chris Malek, Jacek Luszczyk, Grzegorz Dabrowa)

The monument commemorates the exploration of Count Paul Strzelecki who passed through the area in 1840. 

In 1839 Strzelecki set out on an expedition into the Australian Alps and explored the Snowy Mountains with James Macarthur, James Riley and two Aboriginal guides: Charlie Tarra and Jackey. In 1840 he climbed the highest peak on mainland Australia and named it Mount Kosciusko, to honour Tadeusz Kosciusko, one of the national heroes of Poland and a hero of the American Revolutionary War. 

From there Strzelecki made a journey through Gippsland. After passing the la Trobe River it was found necessary to abandon the horses and all the specimens that had been collected, and try to reach Western Port. For 22 days they were on the edge of starvation, and were ultimately saved by the knowledge and hunting ability of their guide Charlie, who caught native animals for them to eat. The party, practically exhausted, arrived at Western Port on 12 May 1840 and reached Melbourne on 28 May.

One of Kosciuszko Heritage’s projects was to commemorate 180 years since Strzelecki’s passage through the Upper Murray and his ascent of Mount Kosciuszko by the unveiling of a plaque by the roadside at Welaregang. It was here that Strzelecki and Macarthur and party were hosted for some days in early March 1840 by John and Mary Hay, who then held the Welaregang Sheep Run. This event was to take place in early 2020 but the covid pandemic caused its postponement until 2021.

The 2021 celebrations of the discovery and naming of Mount Kosciuszko were held in the Snowy Valleys region began in Welaregang where Ambassador Michał Kolodziejski and Justin Clancy, a member of the New South Wales parliament (who represented the state minister for multiculturalism Geoff Lee) unveiled a plaque commemorating the ascent of the peak and the naming of Mt. Kosciuszko by Paweł Strzelecki. The next part of the ceremony took place in one of the main cities of the region, Tumbarumba, and included, among others, a presentation of an exhibition devoted to the involvement of Paweł Strzelecki in helping the victims of the famine in Ireland in 1845-1849. It was opened by Ambassador of Ireland, Breandan Ó Caollai, in the presence of state MPs, the mayor and other Councillors of Snowy Valleys, as well as the local Elders of the Ngarigo people. The premiere of the exhibition, prepared by the Embassy of Poland in Dublin, took place in Dublin in 2019, with the participation of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

The main organizer of the anniversary celebrations of the discovery and naming of Mount Kosciuszko was the Polish organization Kosciuszko Heritage.
Kosciusko Heritage Inc., 17 March 2021. 

The photograph of the unveiling the plaque shows Polish Ambassador H. E. Michal Kolodziejski (on left) and Albury Member of Parliament, the Honourable Justin Clancy assisted by members of the Polish Folkloric Dance Ensemble "Lajkonik."





Address:180 Tiltandra Road, Welaregang Station, “Dungowan”, Welaregang, 2642
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.990916
Long: 147.986502
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event Start Date:09-March-1840
Actual Event End Date:15-March-1840


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 9th March, 2021
Front Inscription

In March 1840, Paul Edmund Strzelecki, James Macarthur, James Riley With Indigenous Guide Charlie Tarra Of Goulburn And Convict Servants James Nolan And John Rent (sic) Reached Messrs, Hay And Chalmers` Welaregang Station Aiming To Explore The Snowy Mountains And Eastern Victoria.

On Monday 9 March The Convict Servants Remained To Help With The Shearing While A Local Aboriginal Guide Jackey Joined The Others To Ascend The Nearby Australian Alps.

On The Afternoon Of Thursday 12 March 1840, Strzelecki Climbed The Highest Peak And Named It Mount Kosciusko, In Honour Of Thaddeus Kosciusko, Polish And American National Hero, Champion Of Human Rights And Freedom For All.

All Five Returned To Welaregang And On March 16 The Original Group Of Six Left The Station To Explore A Part Of Eastern Victoria, Which Strzelecki Later Named Gippsland.

Sponsored By Kosciuszko Heritage Inc. And Snowy Valleys Council, 2020.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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