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Annual Address of the President of the Royal Society of Victoria.

7 May 1863

Extract from the address, concerning the conduct of the Victorian Exploring Expedition.


Gentleman of the Royal Society of Victoria,

...In taking, as usual, a rapid retrospect of the operations of the Society, and of the general progress of science in this country during the past twelve months, I shall not have to detain you long. So far, indeed, as the former are concerned it may be described as a period in which the results of past labours were realised, rather than one wherein fresh enterprises were inaugurated. Step by step our knowledge of the interior of the Australian continent was extended by the return of the expeditions under Walker, Landsborough, McKinlay and Howitt; whilst at the very moment that the last mournful honours were being paid in Melbourne to the remains of Burke and Wills, that veteran explorer, McDouall Stuart arrived in Adelaide to receive from our South Australian fellow-colonists that enthusiastic welcome which his indomitable energy and perseverence, in literally cutting his way - after repeated failures - to the northern coast, so richly deserved.

The great work of exploration was thus brought to a close for 1862 - for a time at any rate - possibly (if such an allusion be permissible) untill it is more clearly ascertained whether overland communication with Western Australia - which remains alone to be accomplished by a practicalbe route - be desirable or not.

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