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Burke + Wills Memorial
Burke + Wills Memorial

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The monument commemorates the site of the Burke and Wills expedition at Camp 1 (Essendon). It is located near the site of an old gum tree under which the expedition is believed to have camped. 

Councillor Kinnear informed a meeting of the Essendon council on Monday night that a wooden tablet on a tree in Mount Alexandra road Moonee Ponds bore the incorrect statement that under that tree the Burke and Wills expedition rested on its journey from Melbourne to Central Australia. Actually the expedition had camped on the opposite side of the lagoon in Queens Park. He thought that a permanent memorial should be erected in the right place. Some of the very old residents of Essendon remembered the exact spot where the expedition had camped. Councillor Royle suggested that the council should not be in a hurry to remove the tablet. An old resident had stated that she had seen the expedition at the tree opposite the Moonee Ponds bowling green. Councillor Gilbertson said that his relatives who had been born in the district agreed that the expedition had not camped under the tree in Mount Alexander road but on a site on the other side of the lagoon now enclosed in Queen`s Park. The council resolved to have the question investigated and to place a permanent tablet at the correct place.
The Argus ( Melbourne), 14 June 1938. 

The stump of an old tree in Mt. Alexander-road, Essendon, marks the spot where Burke and Wills camped on their first night out from Melbourne on their fatal expedition. Residents of Essendon have felt for a long time that some suitable memorial should be erected to mark the historic place. As it is probable that the remains of the old tree will be removed under a beautification scheme of the council for the laying down of lawns, the town clerk was instructed at the meeting of Essendon council last night to submit a report regarding the erection of a memorial.
The Age (Melbourne) , 27 April 1938. 


Address:Mount Alexander Road, Median Strip, near Bowling Club entrance, Moonee Ponds, 3039
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.76293
Long: 144.922611
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event Start Date:20-August-1860


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1938
Front Inscription

This stone marks the first camping site of the Burke and Wills Expedition

20th August 1860.

Presented by Cr. L. T. Thompson. J. P.
Mayor of Essendon. Year 1938

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