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Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association (KIPA)
celebrating the birthplace of South Australia.

KIPA was established in 1983 and aims to promote Kangaroo Island's magnificent pioneering history today.

We very much welcome your interest. Perhaps you'd like to become a member?

Enjoy exploring the historic Kangaroo Island, and enjoy exploring this site!
(Use the navigation tabs above, or on the left side panel, or "Search this site" box above.)


We will be moving! Google will no longer be supporting free Google Sites from 2023. We have been obliged (perhaps temporarily, until we can find a better place) to move to "New" Google Sites - which means there will be compromises to what we are used to here. You are welcome to view our new prototype site (very much under construction) at https://sites.google.com/view/kipioneersassociation Your feedback will be most welcome.



Image courtesy State Library SA, Kangaroo Island Collection, dated 1905.
Members of Australasian Ornithologists Union on fieldtrip, 14-24 October 1905; women members outside a pitched tent.
WITH THE ORNITHOLOGISTS. ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1905, November 4). Observer , p. 46. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162442651 Edited transcription at Ornithology

Grant received from History Trust of SA for the mapping of the Pioneer Historical Cemetery 
The Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association is pleased to announce that it has received a grant to undertake ground penetrating radar (GPR) mapping of the Pioneer Historical Cemetery (Reeves Point) in 2019. The project will be run in conjunction with Flinders University, led by Dr Ian Moffat, Research Fellow in Archaeological Science. Dr Moffat is currently at Cambridge University in the UK.
With the advent of new GPR technology, the Association now believes it may be possible to map the physical extent of the cemetery and also confirm the number of graves used from 1836 until the commencement of the new Kingscote Cemetery. All the graves, markers and plaques will remain undisturbed by this process.
The Association believes that this project will add to a greater understanding of the early history of South Australia and its first cemetery.
See The Islander article with three images.
See Video of the mapping 


Frenchman's Rock interpretive sign
We are pleased to announce the erection of a new sign at Frenchmans Rock following the receipt of a $4,000 grant from the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme.  This grant is being used to replace the large interpretive sign at the State Heritage listed ‘Frenchman’s Rock’ site. The old sign was badly degraded.  The new sign is a 3mm thick marine-grade stainless steel sign mounted on a polished stainless steel frame, similar in size and shape to the original.  It should stand up to the elements far better than the original, with an expected life well in excess of 20 years.  Click here for the wording of the sign.

Acknowledgements. A lot of people pitched in to make this possible:
Funds for this project came from Australian National Maritime Museum.  (Thanks to Sharon Babbage who was our contact there).
The sign itself was manufactured by Engraving Services Co of Woodville South.  (Thanks to Jessica Geale for her patience).
The design and specification of the sign frame was by Magryn Consultant Engineers of Somerton Park.  (Thanks to Will Souter for his expertise).|
The construction of the sign frame was by S.A. Stainless Pty Ltd of Port Adelaide.  (Thanks to Matt Holland for his personal interest and ability).|
The installation was by Kangaroo Island Council.  (Thanks to CEO George Georgopoulos and the Penneshaw depot staff)


Kingscote Pioneers Cemetery
The Kingscote Pioneers Cemetery was neglected as early as 1848 after most settlers had moved to the mainland.
" ... we landed on Kangaroo Island — the most important of the group, and almost the only one which I had never visited. Kingscote is prettily situated, yet the first impression on entering it is of a painful nature.  Old buildings in ruin are sometimes sublime — often interesting — never disagreeable objects. They have bowed to the ordinary influences of time, and the most painful feeling they can excite is pensiveness, or a reflective melancholy. But new buildings falling into decay do violence to the ordinary operations of nature and time, and are therefore repulsive to the beholder. Many neat cottages are still standing, though unoccupied; and some good stone houses, defaced by premature dilapidations, show that the town was once inhabited by civilized beings. The chief mansion of the almost deserted settlement we did not behold, for the materials had just been removed from the island for use elsewhere. Five families constitute the town population. Twenty-five white people and two black lubras are all that the island can at present render to the South Australian census. A few browsing goats do their utmost to alleviate the dreariness of the scene. The graveyard—if a patch of earth without a fence may be so denominated— becomes unduly pathetic in the solitude. It contains from thirty to forty graves. Most of these are quite undistinguished— and why should they he otherwise ? Others have wooden slabs with painted inscriptions still clinging to their proper localities, but with a very frail clutch. Others, again, of these wooden immortalities, are transferred from grave to grave by browsing cattle, listless mortals, strong winds, or any other accident, as if death were verily laughing at our puny efforts to withstand oblivion."
PORT LINCOLN AND KANGAROO ISLAND. (1848, May 24). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48728812



Recently added
  • A Few Days in Kangaroo Island - a reporter's account in 1883, when selectors were showing  a lot of interest in the few remaining sections in Menzies and Dudley.
  • First Report of the Directors of the SA Company, created 22 Jan 1836
  • Island Cartoons Fourteen caricatures of Islanders in 1913
  • An Official Trip to K.I. in 1880 Two accounts by expeditionists of the party consisting of Hon. T. Playford, Commissioner of Crown Lands; Mr. G. W Goyder, Surveyor-General, et al. Some flowery language, but nonetheless fascinating reading, providing an insight to K.I. when there were but 250 souls.
  • Sports and Clubs, a new section. Check out the early days of the Kingscote Rifle Club, the Brass Band, Basketball, the Kingscote Literacy and Debating Society and more.
  • The latest news articles from the press
  • Contributions from members - their own research and articles
  • Post Offices of Kangaroo Island - update by Chris Ward
  • Flinders Chase - a chronology - by Geoffrey Chapman
  • District Councils : showing elected officers for Kingscote and Dudley councils over the years.
  • Time Line : an index of the events that affected K.I.
  • The Land Commission pay KI a visit 1888, a scurrilous account by a  reporter accompanying public servants visiting K.I. He paints an unflattering picture of complaining farmers and their struggles on "primitive" K.I.  George Bates  is described as a "better preserved fossil "existing "in a half-mummified condition". Almost the whole article is contemptuous and arrogant, but he does praise Mr. John Buick's orchard and his wife - "a comely old dame, who bore Nature's own impress of high-class womanliness."
  • Register articles 1908 focussing on the activities and achievements of the people and farms of Kangaroo Island in 1908 (15 articles )
  • Letter from Theresa Chauncey who arrived on the John Renwick in 1837
  • Families now including the descendants of  :  BRECKNELL,  Henry Emanuel (c. 1829-1883); KOPP, John Jacob Got (1844-1924) Light keeper, Cape Borda;  NOSKE, Carl (1835-1911);  STRAWBRIDGE, William Smerdon (1817-1869); ADAMS, William (1843-1927) and BATES, Martha Ann (1873-1929); ANDERSON, John Bernard (1839-1901) and REICHTER, Matilda Elizabeth (1849-1917); ELSEGOOD, Frederick Charles (1879-1943) and  BLYTHMAN, Olive Mabel (1889-1964); SHERIDAN, John (c.1848-1940) and HOUGHTON, Ellen (c.1856-1925)