Project Retracing Sir John Forrest’s 1874 Geraldton-Adelaide Trek To Be Funded

Project Retracing Sir John Forrest’s 1874 Geraldton-Adelaide Trek To Be Funded

Western Australia Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman

State Library Partnership With Minderoo Foundation

Victor P Taffa

  • Minderoo Foundation partners with State Library to fund major history project
  • Project to retrace Sir John Forrest’s 1874 trek from Geraldton to Adelaide
  • Award-winning Storylines will capture an Aboriginal point of view

A new partnership between the State Library of Western Australia and Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has been forged to deliver a unique project in 2018-19.

“This significant partnership will enable the State Library to continue to meet its commitment of treasuring the stories of Western Australia.” Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman said.

“Western Australians will be able to reimagine the expedition undertaken in 1874 through the programs, displays, resources and exhibitions offered by the State Library in 2019.”

Entitled From Another View, the project will retrace and reinterpret Sir John Forrest’s 1874 trek from Geraldton to Adelaide.

Original expedition in search of inland water resources that could sustain settlement was a remarkable journey through areas unchartered by Europeans.

Expeditioners encountered and sometimes clashed with Aboriginal groups whose lands they traversed and whose water they relied upon for survival as they made their way eastwards.

Project will serve as the catalyst for reimagining the history of exploration from various community and creative perspectives:

  • Community engagement – the State Library’s award-winning Storylines model of digital repatriation and reinterpretation of documentary heritage will be used to engage with Aboriginal communities along the trek;
  • Creative interpretation – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists will reinterpret the expedition that was led by Forrest and guided by 2 Aboriginal trackers;
  • Research – further investigation into private and public papers relating to Forrest’s expedition will be undertaken to contribute to the greater understanding of collecting legacies around exploration history.

A number of regional displays, public programs, educational resources, engagement with Aboriginal communities in the Yamatji and Western Desert areas, commissioned artworks and a major exhibition at the State Library in 2019 will be delivered by the partnership.

WA Minister for Culture & Arts David Templeman









Sir John Forrest

Sir John Forrest won fame as an explorer by leading three expeditions into the interior of Western Australia, for which he was awarded the 1876 Royal Geographical Society’s Patron’s Medal.

He was appointed Surveyor-General and in 1890 became the first Premier of Western Australia, its only Premier as a self-governing colony.

Sir John Forrest was Western Australia’s first Premier serving from 29 Dec. 1890-15 Feb. 1901.

Sir John Forrest is Western Australia second longest serving Premier with Sir David Brand currently the longest serving Premier of Western Australia.

Western Australia was established as the Swan River Colony on 2 May 1829 and achieved Responsible Government on 21 October 1890.

Federal Politics

Australia became a Federation of States and a nation on 1 January 1901. On 30 December 1900, Sir John Forrest accepted the position of Postmaster-General in Edmund Barton’s Federal Government.

On 13 February 1901 Sir John Forrest resigned as Premier of Western Australia and as member for Bunbury.

At the March 1901 Federal Election Sir John Forrest was elected unopposed with the Protectionists in the seat of Swan.

For over 2 years he was Minister for Defence and after a cabinet reshuffle on 7 August 1903 became Minister for Home Affairs.

Longest Serving Premiers Of Western Australia

Premier                      Party               Term Of Office          Total Time In Office

Sir David Brand          Liberal             2 April 1959-3 March 1971    (11 Years 335 Days)

Sir John Forrest                                   29 Dec. 1890-15 Feb. 1901    (10 Years 48 Days)