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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 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!
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Dr Maitland-Pattison and his wife Ethel
Have a look at the research we have been doing on these notable Kangaroo Island people. Click here.


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

Death of Dianne Cordes

      We are deeply saddened to inform you that Dianne Cordes passed away last Thursday evening (25th May 2017) after a long and courageous battle. Her funeral, attended by over 300 people, was held on Wednesday 30th July at St Columba's Church, Hawthorn.

      Dianne was a founding member of KIPA, opening her home at Belair for the inaugural meeting of KIPA in 1983 and catering for afternoon tea in the garden.  The Association believes that until debilitated by her illness, Dianne had attended every meeting and AGM, every social or historical event, many of the K.I. Settlement Day Ceremonies and Cemetery memorial unveilings.  She was of great assistance with the “Birthplace of S.A.” campaign in 1991. 

      In 2008 Dianne was awarded Life Membership of KIPA, the first occasion where the Executive Committee resolved to make this award to a partner in their own right.  It recognised and thanked Dianne for a quarter of a century of loyal support, hard work, and unstinting interest in the work of the Association, and expressed the appreciation of the Association for a quiet achiever who forms the backbone of such a successful organisation.

      Despite her illness Dianne continued to support the Association, even managing to attend our AGM in March this year.  She will be sorely missed by her family, friends and the Association.

      Our condolences and thoughts are with Dene and his family.



Recently added
  • Research on Dr Mailand-Pattison and his wife Ethel (Gunyah Nursing Home)
  • Directory of Kangaroo Island 1928 
  • The murder of George Meredith who lived at Western River c.1827-1834 and reputedly buried a fortune there.
  • The history of Faith, Hope and Charity - the houses built c.1857 by the Calnan brothers using their goldfields wealth.
  • We now have a Religion page, examining the history of the churches on K.I.. We have been fortunate enough to secure "Aspects of the Catholic Presence on Kangaroo Island 1900-1992", reproduced with permission from the Adelaide Catholic Archives. 
  • Real Live Stories of South Australia (Chronicle 1932-1937) compiled by David Wilson. Once on the site, use the "Search this site" for "Kangaroo Island" and you'll find reader contributions.
  • 21st Anniversary - Majority of the Colony of South Australia. An instructive potted history of how South Australia commenced and survived the first 21 years (newspaper article).
  • PASA amends its constitution to allow a later cut off date (28 Dec 1846) for membership
  • Considerable controversy persists as to who was the first European migrant to set foot ashore in South Australia. Was it Samuel Stephens? Or was it Elizabeth Beare? See our Position Statement.
  • Address by our Patron Vickie Chapman to the Pioneers Association of South Australia annual dinner
  • The wonderful old Kingscote Police Station and Courthouse has been added to our Signs pages. Read at your leisure the interesting information on the three signs.
  • We believe we have identified almost all the World War II Soldiers for Kangaroo Island.  And to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day on 18 Aug 2016 we have published a list of known KI Vietnam Veterans on our Soldiers after WW2 page.
  • Families now including the descendants of  : CHIRGWIN, John (1837-1882) and Eliza (1838-1907); VEREYCKEN, Peter Joseph (1855-1941) and Mary (1864-1942); OSTERSTOCK, Andrew George (1850-1908); FLORANCE, John Biggen (1845-1902); GEISLER, Johann Carl Heinrich (c.1867-1946); CARR, Hampden, Dr. (1868-1932) and COOPER, Emmie Bevan (1875-1975); LITTLELY, John (1836-1917) married Frances DEALY (1840-1925); WHITTLE, Uriah (1827-1893) (son Albert married Marianne BOXER nee HAMILTON); KRUEGER, Johann Ewald Franz (1859-1947); WIADROWSKI, Anton (1851-1935); GOBELL, James (1803-1884); BURGESS, Alfred Charles (1832-1890) of MacGillivray married Margaret DEALY (1834-1903); BARRETT, Francis Thomas (1853-1901); BARR, Robert (1832-1937); STIRLING, Alfred (1866-1937); McINTYRE, William Neil (1861-1918) marrying into the JONES, GRIFFITHS and BURGESS familes; JONES, William Daniel (1854-1938) (large family from Delamere, marrying into the WALLER families); Edward POTTER (1844-1929); James RATCLIFF (1873-1945); Thomas RANSOM (1859-1893); Hannah CHARLESWORTH (MURRAY, EBERT, DAVIDSON) (1826-1907); Nat THOMAS (1802-1879) and Betsy - one of the earliest families on KI, marrying into the Simpson, Barrett, Seymour and Waller families.
  • Here is an historic video of the manufacture of eucalyptus oil by F.H.Faulding about 1927, courtesy of Emu Ridge.