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John McDouall Stuart
John McDouall Stuart

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The statue commemorates explorer John McDouall Stuart (1815 – 1866), a Scottish explorer and one of the most accomplished and famous of all Australia's inland explorers. A plaque on the statue lists the members of his expedition. 

At the end of 1860 the South Australian government voted £2500 to equip a large expedition to be led by Stuart. Burke and Wills had already set out to cross the continent so there was no time to lose if a South Australian party was to arrive first.

On 1 January 1861 he left Chambers Creek with eleven men and reached Attack Creek late in April; with two others he discovered a way through the scrub that had defeated him before, and found Sturt`s Plain. After exhausting failures to pass the plains, with their provisions low and their clothes in shreds, Stuart gave in and on 12 July turned south to reach Adelaide on 23 September. He received the 1861 gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society from the Governor.

The explorations of Stuart eventually resulted in the Australian Overland Telegraph Line being built and the main route from Port Augusta to Darwin being established, which is now known as the Stuart Highway in his honour.

The ceremony of unveiling the statue of John McDouall Stuart today will be the first of a series of celebrations the objective of which is to write the history of South Australia in stone. Hitherto the people of this State have been somewhat backward in the erection of permanent monuments to the memory of their illustrious dead. The celebration which will take place today must be regarded as of deep public significance. It is fitting that the Caledonian Society should have taken up and brought to a successful issue the movement to do honor to an illustrious Scot, who is also in a true sense a famous Australian. Moreover, the South Australian public contributed generously to the statue fund, which was also liberally subsidised by the State.
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), 4th June 1904


Address:Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.92731
Long: 138.600251
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:01-January-1861
Actual Event End Date:23-September-1861


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 4th June, 1904
Front Inscription

John McDouall Stuart
Adelaide to Indian Ocean

Plaque :

Erected by public subscription and presented to the City of Adelaide on 4th June 1904 by the South Australian Caledonian Society.

A. J. McLachlan Chief 1899 - 1902 Chairman Statue Committee

Left Side Inscription

Members of Expedition. W.D. Kekwick, F.W. Thring, W.P. Auld, S. King, J.W. Billiatt, J. Frew, H. Nash, J.McCorrery, F.C. Waterhouse - Naturalist

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