The John McDouall Stuart Monument, Victoria Square, Adelaide, has now been formally accepted into the register of South Australia’s Heritage.
The monument includes the statue of Carrara marble and the pedestal of Sydney trachyte. It is located in the triangular piece of garden in the north-east corner of Victoria Square, close to the onetime Treasury building.
The statue features a life size representation of explorer John McDouall Stuart in bushman’s gear. The pedestal on which the statue stands features bronze plaques that include important historical information about Stuart and the monument:
John McDouall Stuart
Adelaide to Indian Ocean
The bronze plaque near the foot of the pedestal at the front reads:
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 1899-1908
Chairman Statue Committee
The bronze plaque on the eastern side gives details of:
Members of the Expedition
F.G. Waterhouse – Naturalist
Other modern plaques commemorate anniversaries of Stuart’s endeavours.
Towards the base of the pedestal is a relief may of Australia that traces the route across the continent taken by Stuart and his party.
In addition to commemorating the bold exploits of one of Australia’s premier explorers, the monument to John McDouall Stuart is of heritage value for the manner it invokes the era of the exploration of the Australian continent’s interior and the many consequences that flowed from this. These included the South Australian annexation of the Northern Territory, the construction of the Overland Telegraph and the pastoral penetration of the interior. The location of Stuart’s monument is also significant, being located in Victoria Square in the centre of Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city.