Thursday 9 March 2023

Matthew Flinders Exploration

The following article describes the official opening on 16 July 1988 of the Matthew Flinders memorial at Banksia Beach.

A voice from the past speaks

by David Thomas

Bribie Times Wed 20 July 1988

Visitors to Bribie Island are now able to have a short, personal chat to the first white man ever to land anywhere in Queensland.

Saturday's opening of the first of Bribie Bicentennial Committee's 'Talking Monuments' - the Matthew Flinders Memorial on Solander foreshore - is seen as a very positive step in providing a unique service to the Island's tourists.

The monument designed by a young QIT student - Kirsty Simpson - and sculpted by Tom Farrell, was officially opened in true Naval tradition by Lt Commander Don Kidd in front of a large crowd in superb sunshine on Saturday afternoon.

Not to be outdone by Australia's modern Navy, old Matthew Flinders himself (a la local identity Tom Abblett) started proceedings off with a somewhat inglorious arrival when his dory, crewed by three Navy Cadets from 'T.S. Moreton Bay' ran aground and became stuck about 20 metres from shore.

But, for a man of old Matty's skills and aplomb, a small setback such as this was no problem - after all, he managed to start the first and only non-nuclear war ever to be experienced in Queensland when he needed an event to commemorate the name 'Skirmish' for a certain part of the Island (unknown to many is the fact that Skirmish Point was actually named after Matty's second cousin by marriage, Frederick Amadeus Skirmish of Frogsbottom-by-the-Sea, Harts.)

After finally extricating himself from the sandbar by sending his crew overboard to push (one of whom disappeared splutteringly below when they finally hit deep water again), the rest of the impressive ceremony went 'by the book'.

After finally making it to shore, Matthew Flinders was escorted to the monument by members of Bribie's Navy Association.

In her opening address, President of the Bicentennial Community Committee, Margaret Guthrie, paid tribute to the many people who had helped bring about the Flinders Talking Monument.

Matthew Flinders Exploration memorial
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018

For specific mention, she singled out the Committee's Secretary, Frank Miller; Tom Farrell, the sculptor; Terry Reader, who did the electrical work; Brian Taylor, whose voice tells Matthew Flinder's story; and Vercorp Pty Ltd, developers of Solander Shores Estate, for landscaping, paving and help with funding the project.

Before officially declaring the monument open, Lt Cdr Don Kidd RAN gave a brief history of Matthew Flinders and honoured Australia's first and greatest navigator.

The flats of Australia, Queensland and the Bicentennial Authority were raised by Cadets from "T.S. Moreton Bay' as the audience sang "Advance Australia Fair'.

Mrs Guthrie then handed over the monument to Caboolture Shire Council for maintenance and upkeeping. Deputy Shire Chairman, Joy Leishman accepted on behalf of the Shire Chairman, who have to leave the ceremony early to fulfill another appointment.

Cr Leishman congratulated the Committee and promised on behalf of the Council, that the monument would be kept in good order by the Council.

The other two talking monuments - which will be opened later in the Bicentennial Year - are to tell the story of Bribie's original aboriginal inhabitants, situated at the new Community Arts Centre; and the third will tell of the early white pioneers who settled Bribie Island, to be situated near the Air Sea Rescue in Bellara. Both will be Talking Monuments as well.


Thomas, David (1988) A voice from the past speaks.
Bribie Times v3 no44, 20 July 1988, page 4.

Matthew Flinders Exploration monument, Banksia Beach - entry on Monument Australia
Captain Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774 – 1814) was a distinguished English navigator and cartographer, who made three voyages to the southern ocean (August 1791 – August 1793, February 1795 – August 1800 and July 1801 – October 1810).
Online at

Matthew Flinders Memorial

 The following information and photos are sourced from Monument Australia

Matthew Flinders Exploration - Talking Monument

The talking monument commemorates the landing of Matthew Flinders.

Front Inscription:
Matthew Flinders Story

Matthew Flinders Talking Monument
Banksia Beach
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018.
Left Side Inscription:
The Concept Of This Monument Was Designed By
Miss Kirsti Simpson Depicting The Earth`s Northern And
Southern Hemispheres Joined By Early Navigators.This Piece
Of Helidon Stone Was Sculpted By Mr Tom Farrell To Depict
The Matthew Flinders Story

The Work Was Sponsored By The Australian Bicentennial
Authority Federal Heritage Programme, Vercorp Developers
                  Of Solander Shores
The Bribie Island Bicentennial Community Committee

This Monument Was Unveiled On The 16th July.
The Anniversary Of Flinders Landing
Lt. Commdr D. M. Kidd, R.A.N.E.M.

Matthew Flinders Talking Monument
Banksia Beach
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018.
Captain Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774 – 1814) a distinguished English navigator and cartographer, made three voyages to the southern ocean (August 1791 – August 1793, February 1795 – August 1800 and July 1801 – October 1810).

The above photographs by John Huth were supplied to Monument Australia.