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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / John Huth

The monument commemorates the site where former Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared whilst swimming.

On the 17th December 1967, Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, went for a swim on Cheviot Beach near his holiday home at Portsea in Victoria. He disappeared beneath the waves and was never seen again. His body was never recovered.

Without determining the cause of Holt`s death, a joint report by Commonwealth and Victoria Police, submitted in January 1968, concluded that, `… there has been no indication that the disappearance of the late Mr Holt was anything other than accidental`. The report found that despite his knowledge of the beach, the turbulent conditions (high winds, rough seas and rip tides) overcame him.

The explanations put forward for a failure to find the body included an attack by marine life, the body being carried out to sea by tides or becoming wedged in rock crevices. While a variety of theories have been expounded about Holt`s disappearance, the Commonwealth Government did not deem a formal inquiry necessary, accepting the conclusions of the Police report.


Address:Defence Road, Cheviot Beach, Portsea, 3944
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.310237
Long: 144.664552
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal
Actual Event Start Date:17-December-1967
Actual Event End Date:17-December-1967


Front Inscription

In memory of Harold Edward Holt, P.C., C.H.,

Prime Minister of Australia from 26.1.1966 until 19.12.1967.  

He disappeared while swimming off Cheviot Beach during rough weather on 17.12.1967

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