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Flinders and Batman
Flinders and Batman

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Nancy Alford

The monument commemorates Matthew Flinders who landed at Indented Head in 1802 and John Batman who formed a base at Indented Head in 1835. It was unveiled in 1931 and centenary celebrations were held there on the 29th May 1935. 

A plaque was unveiled on the memorial on the 26th May, 1985 as part of the Victoria 150 celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Batman`s landing. 

An additional plaque was unveiled at the site of the memorial in 2013 to acknowledge that the memorial was built by Herbert Hague Lewis. The plaque states that the memorial was built in 1935 although information located in Trove states that the cairn was originally unveiled in 1931. It is unknown by Monument Australia if the mention of the centenary celebrations on the inscription in 1935 replaced the original inscription plaque or was added as an addendum. 

Indented Head was named by Captain Matthew Flinders when exploring Port Phillip Bay in the ship 'Investigator' (1802). Landing on the east side of the bay he ascended Arthurs Seat and observed on the opposite side of the bay the Bellarine Peninsula with the indented coastline which he named Indented Head.  On 29 May 1835, John Batman in the 'Rebecca' anchored near Indented Head, prior to negotiating his 'land treaty' with the local Aborigines. After the treaty documents were signed, Batman landed a party of occupation at Indented Head (9 June) and left it under the supervision of James Gumm. On 6 July, Buckley, after 32 years in the wilderness, entered the party's camp and rejoined colonial society.​

Geelong, Sunday — Many representative men assembled at Indented Head on Saturday afternoon to do honor to the memory of John Batman the founder of Melbourne, and incidentally to remember what Mathew Flinders had done to make Port Phillip known. At the instance of the Bellarine Peninsula Development League a cairn had been constructed of ironstone gathered from the seashore close by and embodied in the cairn was a piece of dressed stone, which bore the inscription— -'John Batman, founder of Melbourne, formed a base here, Indented Head, on 29th May, 1935. Matthew Flinders landed here in 1802, and crossed to the You Yangs." Mr. R. Cranstoun, on behalf of the Batman Park committee, announced that the cairn was not to be the only memorial in that locality in honor of John Batman.

It was intended to build a memorial hall, with early historical events of that district recorded in stained glass windows. Mr. A.W. Purnell, president of the Bellarine Peninsula Development League; Cr. C.E. Graham, president of Bellarine shire, and Senator Guthrie delivered appropriate addresses in turn.  Dr. Sanderson, vice-president of the Historical Society, stated that the base established by John Batman at lndented Head was the second permanent settlement of white men in what is now Victoria. A year earlier the Henty brothers had formed a settlement at Portland. Mr. Norman Belcher produced a copy of the original agreement made by John Batman with the aborigines' representatives for the purchase of the land in that locality. Sir James Barrett, who unveiled the inscribed stone of the memorial, spoke approvingly or what had been done by the Bellarine Peninsula Development League. The Bellarine Peninsula League was thanked for what it had done to ensure that John Batman would be remembered in that district, which he had made most important from an historical point of view.
Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 19 October 1931.

GEELONG, Wednesday. - The centenary of the landing of John Batman at Indented Head was celebrated at Indented Head today when about 2,500 persons assembled on the spot where Batman first touched Victorian soil 100 years ago. The event of 100 years ago and that of today were linked, in so far as a descendant of Batman, Mr. L. Batman Weire, presented a cup for the best essay written by school children on John Batman. Mr. Weire was unable to attend the celebrations. About 800 children from the Moolap, Leopold, Wallington, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Marcus, Mannerim, Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, St. Leonards, Portarlington, Bellerine, and Drysdale schools took part in the event. The Historical Society of Victoria was well represented. A seaplane from Point Cooke (Point Cook), in charge of Mr. A. E. Hempel, flew low over the crowd lined on the cliffs.

The plane was to have landed but the water was too rough. For the same reason the part of the programme where Mr W. Holden was to have impersonated Batman landing had to be eliminated. Later, Mr. Holden mingled with the crowd, impersonating Buckley, the wild white man. The school children assembled about a quarter of a mile on the St. Leonards side of the Batman memorial and marched to the memorial led by the Bellerine Peninsula Band. The children assembled in front of the Batman memorial, when short addresses were delivered. Mr. W. Dalton, chairman of the celebratlon committee said that the idea of the celebration was to impress on the children that Indented Head was an historic spot, and was linked up with the whole history of Victoria. Mr. A. S. Kenyon, president of the Historical Society of Victoria, traced the history of Victoria, and Mr. McArthur, M.L.C., Mr. Maltby, M.L.A., and the mayor of Geelong (Councillor E. A. McDonald) addressed the gathering. It is proposed to place on the Batman memorial a tablet indicating the nature of the celebration. 
Argus (Melbourne), The Age (Melbourne),  30 May 1935.


Address:The Esplanade, Batman Head, Indented Head, 3223
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.147509
Long: 144.718291
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:Herbert Hague Lewis


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 17th October, 1931
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Founder Of Melbourne
Formed A Base Here
29th MAY 1835.

Landed Here In 1802
And Crossed To The 
    You Yangs.

B.P.D. League 
Centenary Celebrated May 29th

Plaque :

This Tablet Commemorating
The 150th Anniversary Of 
     Landing At 
Indented Head, May 29, 1835
Was Unveiled By 
Hon. N. Trezise M.L.A.
On May 26, 1985
Cr. Gwynneth 
Shire Of Bellarine.   Victoria 150

Back Inscription
This Monument Was Built By
            In 1935 (sic)
Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management 2013
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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