Settlement Day 2022

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. ...",-27-july-2022