Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association

Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association (KIPA) 

est. 1983

determining, preserving and promoting Kangaroo Island’s magnificent, rich pioneer history

Who were the earliest Scottish immigrants to South Australia? The earliest was probably Robert Russell who arrived Kangaroo Island on the Duke of York in 1836.  Read this interesting research by Anthea Taylor.

We regret to announce the death of Dean Florance on  20 May 2023. 

Dean joined KIPA in 1993 and joined the Executive Committee as Minute Secretary in 2001.  He served as Vice President for nine years between 2004 & 2013 before resigning from the Exec Committee to focus on the completion of his family history of the Florance family.

His book – Footprints in the sand: the Florance story from London to Kangaroo Island – was published in 2014.

He attended most KIPA events and functions with his wife, Marilyn.

We extend our condolences to his family.

We regret to announce the death at Kingscote Hospital of one of our Patrons, Ivy Wooton, on 31 March 2023. She was a strong supporter of the Association.

Ivy Anne Elizabeth HEINRICH was born 12 Jul 1923 in Booborowie, and married Thomas Gordon WOOTON 10 June 1944 in Redruth. He died in 2011.

Ivy's funeral will be at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at Aberfoyle Park on 19 April at 2.30 p.m.

Neville Allan Macklin Cordes OAM

15 Jan 1940 - 25 Sep 2021

This Australia Day 2023, the late Neville Cordes, who joined KIPA in 1992, and served as President between 2004 and 2012, was  awarded posthumously an Order Of Australia Medal. An honour well-deserved.

We also acknowledge his wife, Ros Cordes, who gave such stalwart support for her husband, and continues to be a valued member of our Association.

The late Mr Neville Allan CORDES
Formerly of Glenelg SA 5045
For service to the community of Kangaroo Island.

The Islander

• Founder, 1967, Owner until 1996 when it was sold, and involved with the publication until 2021.


• Approximately 50 books on Kangaroo Island history.

Kangaroo Island Pioneers' Association

• President, 2004-2012.
• Member, c1980s-2021.
• Life Member, 2012.

District Council of Kingscote

• Member, 1970-1973.
• Mayor, 1983-1986.

St Alban's Church, Kingscote

• Parish Councillor, 30 years and Church Warden, late 1980s.

Anglican Parish of Glenelg

• Organiser, Home Fellowship Group, 20 years.
• Synod Representative, Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, many years.
• Author, 150 Great Years - A History of the Church of St Peter and the Anglican Parish of Glenelg, 2002.


• Former Secretary, Kingscote Football Club, 1950s.
• Former President, Kingscote Tennis Club, c1960s.

Community Other

• Founding Member, Advance Kingscote Progress Association, 1984.
• Member, Royal Association of Justices of South Australia Inc, 1988-2021.
• Former Secretary, St John Ambulance Service, Kangaroo Island, 1970s.
• Former Member, Kangaroo Island Lions Club, c1980s.
• Former Member Kingscote Junior Rural Youth, 1950s and Former President.
• Member, Friends of Glenthorne, until 2021.
• Campaign Director, Mitchell Branch, Liberal Party (South Australia), four years


Refer also to our Association’s testimonial to him on the occasion of his being awarded a Life Membership in 2012. 


Extract from 27/7/22 Kangaroo Island Council Settlement Day

Vice-Regal News. Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

" ... This is my second visit to Kangaroo Island since becoming Governor, and the first for Rod. In April I had the privilege of spending the best part of three days touring the Island in the company of Michael Pengilly and Nicki Putland.

I was struck by the very strong sense of community, the warmth of your hospitality and the stunning landscapes, unchanged from earlier visits as a child and later with our own children.

The resilience and support you have shown one another in the face of recent bushfires has been outstanding, echoing the pioneering spirit of the early settlers on this land.  I was deeply touched by it.  ...

When the Mayor invited me to return for this ceremony at the Pioneers Memorial and to bring Rod, we needed no persuading! 

In 1936 the Governor, Sir Winston Dugan, unveiled this memorial during centenary celebrations.  Today I am pleased to follow in the footsteps of my distinguished predecessor in marking the 186th Settlement Day.

I am aware that many South Australians think of Holdfast Bay or Glenelg as the first settlement in South Australia, when in reality it was Kangaroo Island, a fact that has been acknowledged by the South Australian Parliament.

I thank the Council as well as the Kingscote National Trust and Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association for the work you do to preserve and celebrate the island’s history.  The settlers showed great courage, perseverance, ingenuity and resilience. The stories of their challenges and tribulations and their progress and successes deserve to be told, retold and cherished. This history is not only of relevance and interest to islanders, but to all South Australians. 

I have also read about the indigenous history of Kangaroo Island, something which is also of interest to interstate and overseas visitors. The existence of shell middens and stone tools demonstrate that Aboriginal people lived on Kangaroo Island many thousands of years ago. In addition, it is known that some Aboriginal women from Tasmania and the Fleurieu came with sealers to Kangaroo Island, before official settlement.  This created a cross-cultural community with descendants who still live on the island today. These women taught the men vital skills such as hunting, gathering and tracking which helped to ensure the survival of the pre-settlers.  Stories of these First Australians – as well as countless others around the country – are part of an ancient, rich and enduring culture which deserves to be told and celebrated too, and as Governor I support this. ..."


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

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