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Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The cairn commemorates the Major Thomas Mitchell who camped at the site in 1836.  It was unveiled in 1936, the centenary year of his exploration of Australia Felix. 

Australia Felix (Latin for "fortunate Australia" or "happy Australia") was an early name given by Thomas Mitchell to lush pasture in parts of western Victoria he explored in 1836 on his third expedition.

A meeting of the historical memorials committee was held at Sir James Barrett's rooms in connection with business arising out of correspondence received in reference to a circular sent out to places on the line of Major Mitchells famous expedition through Australia Felix in 1836, the object being to get as far as possible fitting commemoration during the Centenary next year. Several places are preparing to erect cairns or tablets. At Kyneton, the site of which was passed over on Mitchell's divergence to Mount Macedon, a site for a cairn is to be selected. The Shire of Mclvor has under consideration a similar project at the town of Heathcote.

At Mitchell's crossing, near Fernihurst, on the Loddon River, a cairn is to be erected. At Dartmoor, one of Mitchell's camps, on the Glenelg River at Point O'Hare, initial proceedings for erecting a cairn have been taken. At Cohuna the matter of fitly commemorating the occasion is receiving consideration, and at Kanya, another of Mitchell's camps, it is hoped that a memorial will be erected. At Nelson, near the mouth of the Glenelg River, it is proposed to arrange for a celebration at the Isle of Bago, where a cairn marks Mitchell's route down the river.

Mention has also been made of timely celebrations at Hamilton, Swan Hill and Wangaratta. There are many other places on the route which might well erect memorials, or prepare ceremonies for the coming year. Among these, Mt. Macedon, which Mitchell ascended and named, and from which he descried Port Phillip, should celebrate the occasion by a memorial or suitable demonstration. Kerang, Lake Boya, Newstead, Guildford, Mts. Stavely, Abrupt and Alexander are suitable places for commemoration on the route. The historical memorials committee, the hon. secretary of which is Mr. Chas. Daley, will gladly advise or suggest as to procedure, and hopes later to co-operate towards honoring the memory of the pioneer of Australia Felix. 
Age (Melbourne), 7 December 1935.

NEWSTEAD, Thursday - The Major Mitchell cairn erected by the Newstead and Mount Alexander Shire and the Newstead Progress Association was unveiled by the secretary of the Historical Society Of Victoria (Mr. Daly) this afternoon. The president of the shire (Councillor B. Blinkhorn) presided at the gathering, and Messrs. Hansford and C. A. Long (formerly editor of the State schools' paper) were also present and spoke. Colonel Field (Castlemaine) also addressed the gathering. In unveiling the cairn, Mr. Daly said that the position was near the track taken by Major Mitchell, opposite the State school, where schcol children would daily be reminded of the achievements of the explorer. Before the unveiling ceremony, Messrs. Daly, Hansford, and Long were entertained at lunch by the shire president. 
Argus (Melbourne),  9 October 1936.


Address:Pyrenees Highway, Rotunda Park, Newstead, 3462
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.105372
Long: 144.068411
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:27-September-1836
Actual Event End Date:27-September-1836


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 8th October, 1936
Front Inscription

Major Mitchell explorer camped here

27 September 1836

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