King O`Malley Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The monument commemorates politician King O`Malley.

King O'Malley was born either in the United States of Americ or Canada and as a young man was diagnosed with tuberculosis.  In 1888, having been given six months to live, he sailed for Queensland, Australia, purportedly with his own lead coffin.  O'Malley apparently took up residence in a cave at Emu Park where he befriended an aboriginal, Coowonga, who cared for him until he recovered. O`Malley offered him money for his services which he refused.

After walking to Rockhampton with him Coowonga disappeared into the bush and O`Malley never saw him again.  Now healthy, O'Malley decided to walk the 2,100 kilometres from Emu Park to Adelaide in South Australia, arriving in 1893. O`Malley went on to become the founder of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and to conceive the building of the Transcontinental Railway. He was Minister for Home Affairs from 1910 to 1913 and 1915 to 1916, King O’Malley died on December 20th, 1953, at the age of 99 years and 6 months.


Address:Hill Street, Emu Park, 4710
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.257383
Long: 150.825907
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal
Designer:Russell Girle


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 7th February, 1992
Front Inscription

King O Malley

Left Side Inscription

This monument to King O`Malley was funded by the Commonwealth Government under the Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous People Program

The project was initiated by the Federal Member for Capricornia, Mr. Keith Wright M.P. and was planned and completed by a subcommittee of the Emu Park Historical Museum Society Inc, under the chairmanship of Mr. T. B. Macaulay MBE, MC.

It was officially unveiled by the Minister for Resources and Tourism, the Hon. Alan Griffiths M.P. on 7 February 1992.

Architect Mr Russell Girle

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