Maitland Brown Memorial (Explorers Monument)Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Bryan Hardy

The Maitland Brown Memorial was erected to commemorate Maitland Brown an explorer, politician and pastoralist in colonial Western Australia. It is approximately six metres high, and consists of a head and shoulders statue of Maitland Brown, sitting on granite pedestals on a granite base inset with plaques honouring three explorers, Frederick Panter, James Harding and William Goldwyer. Also known as The Explorers` Monument it is a controversial monument.

Panter, Harding and Goldwyer were killed by Aboriginal people in 1864, while exploring in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. When the men failed to return, Maitland Brown was commissioned to lead the La Grange expedition, which searched for the whereabouts of the missing men. Brown`s search party found the men dead, having been speared to death, two of them evidently in their sleep.

Shortly afterwards, a number of Aborigines were killed by Brown`s party in a highly controversial incident that was reported by Brown as a battle brought on by an Aboriginal ambush, but which has often since been characterised as a punitive massacre of Aborigines by white settlers. The Aboriginal communities have long held that the Explorer`s Monument was a racist work that presented a biased interpretation of the events at La Grange. In 1994, an attempt was made to redress this perceived bias by placing an additional plaque on the monument. The new plaque commemorates all Aboriginal people who died "during the invasion of their country".

The monument erected to the memory of the late Mr. Maitland Brown, was unveiled at Fremantle yesterday afternoon by Sir John Forrest in the presence of the Mayor and councillors of Fremantle and a large assemblage of well known citizens. The memorial is situated near one of the entrances of the Fremantle Esplanade Park, and is in the form of a bust mounted on beautiful marble, looking out upon the water. It was erected by the late Mr. George Julius Brockman, and was designed and carried out by Mr. Pietro Porcelli, the well-known Fremantle sculptor. The monument has also been erected in memory of Messrs. Panter, Harding and Goldwyer who murdered by the blacks, and whose bodies were found by the late Mr. Brown.
Sunday Times (Perth), 9th February 1913.


Address:Marine Terrace, Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle, 6160
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.057511
Long: 115.744422
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Pietro Porcelli


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th February, 1913
Front Inscription

This monument was erected by G. J. Brockman as a fellow bush wanderer`s tribute to the memories of Panter, Harding and Goldwyer, earliest explorers after Grey and Gregory of this Terra Incognita. 

Attacked at night by treacherous natives were murdered at Boola Boola near La Grange Bay on the 13 November 1864.

Also an appreciative token of remembrance of Maitland Brown

One of the pioneer pastoralists and premier politicians of this State. Intrepid leader of the Government search and punitive
party.  His remains together with the sad relics of the ill fated three recovered with great risk for lone wilds repose under a public monument in the East Perth Cemetery.

Lest We Forget.


This plaque was erected by people who found the monument before you offensive.

The monument described the events at La Grange from one perspective only; The viewpoint of the white `settlers`.  No mention is made of the right of Aboriginal People to defend their land or of the history of provocation which led to the explorers` deaths.

The `Punitive Party` mentioned here ended in the deaths of somewhere around twenty Aboriginal people. The Whites were well-armed and equipped and none of their party was killed or wounded.

This plaque is in memory of the Aboriginal people killed at La Grange. It also commemorates all other Aboriginal people who died during the invasion of their country.

Lest We Forget.  Mapa Jarriya-Nyalaku.

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