Stuart statue competes against a light pole


p2132-Stuart-statue-1By ERWIN CHLANDA


It’s up – but not quite. There’s still a bit of work to be done around the feet of the controversial John McDouall Stuart statue.


The latest piece of public art is competing with a light pole: “There is no intention to move this in the short term,” says Town Council CEO Rex Mooney.


The explorer’s four meter high image is still surrounded by fencing.


“Whilst the fence is up the statue site is an active work site,” says Mr Mooney. “In the interest of public safety and risk management council had a ranger on site yesterday.


“The fence is due to come down in coming days as final works to the site are completed.”



  1. Fantastic! The Statue looks great and will add more tourist appeal to this heritage area.
    Well done Freemasons, Alice Springs Town Council and of course Mark Egan for this important addition to the local history of our town.

  2. Strictly in terms of elapsed time, which took longer – Stuart’s multiple journeys before finally reaching the Top End, or Council’s multiple attempts to get his statue standing somewhere in Alice?

  3. My oh my, the radical few are handing out and delivering flyers full of lies about John Stuart. I believe one of them is also responsible for the paint thrown at the statue. You are all vandals and liars. One of the group was on the ABC this morning and would not give up the name of the person who prepared the flyers. The woman who lead the few to council and spoke as the leader should be publicly humiliated for her lies. Maybe stocks by the statue. Now there is an idea.

  4. @ Janet Brown. I’m one of those in the community who publically expressed disappointment in the commissioning and installation of this statue.
    Your consistent efforts to obfuscate the public record by labelling those disconcerted by this statue as “a radical few” is disingenuous. It is important to recognise that this statue provoked a multitude of different responses from different sectors of our community. Sure – many in favour. But many not.
    Anyway, whilst I still believe that a town like Alice should have come up with something much more thoughtful to reflect on 150 years since “the meeting of two cultures”, I will concede that this piece of art has provoked plenty of intelligent and thoughtful discussion, in a way perhaps no other piece of art could.
    Going forward, I do hope that Alice Springs does not let the voices of a “loud few” drown out those who might otherwise have something worthwhile to contribute to the ongoing debate about the commissioning of public art – and its enduring symbolism for the whole of the community.

  5. @ Edan Baxter: Historians have been on the ABC radio stating clearly that the accusations that were raised in the flyer circulating and the statements made to council Monday night were formulated on mistruth and intentionally designed to denigrate a pioneer of this area.
    So you are confirming that persons voicing their opposition to varying public opinion you are willing to formulate lies as truth and you hold no conscience to doing this to win your point. Shame on you.
    But this episode is one of many that has occurred the animal liberation movement that say animals are skinned alived for their fur. Lies that tail docking and other procedures are cruel on lambs. Lies. Docking tails on dogs is cruel. Lies.
    And then situations such as this. All based on lies to achieve your desired outcome. What is wrong with you people is the truth just to hard to accept.

  6. You are way out of line again Janet Brown (Posted July 31, 2014 at 9:27 am).
    Anybody who reads Edan’s posts carefully should be able to see that he clearly did not express support for the production and distribution of the controversial leaflet, or the accusation contained within it (or at the Council meeting) about killings by Stuart’s gunmen on the plain near Mt Hay.
    All we opponents and critics of the statue are not in the camp of those who produced this ill-advised leaflet.
    There are a number of other good reasons to be sceptical about the appropriateness of having this statue put up in a park in Alice Springs.
    You, Janet, do not appear to be capable of actually understanding Edan’s letter, and your incoherent diatribe – especially your attack on him about the alleged sins of animal rights activists – is simply more evidence of your inability to read other people’s statements and understand them properly.

  7. @ Janet Brown: Please do take the time to go back and look at my previous comment. I simply requested that you broaden your perspective on this debate and stopped rushing to lump everyone into the same basket.
    Do you even respect the fact that there is significant value in the community having a debate about the merits of art as a proxy for the way we acknowledge history? For goodness sake, some other parts of the world are fighting about such things. With real weapons. Right now.
    Just so you know, I am mine own student of history and will walk my own line on such matters. I don’t know about the flyers and the vandalism you’re referring to – although I must ask: does it really surprise anyone that this is what it has come to?
    Janet and others I ask you: who really thinks a four metre high colonial explorer on the Alice Springs Town Council lawns, with gun, was a good way to mark 150 years since the planting of the Union Jack in the Territory?

  8. I have no problem with the liberal views. I may not agree with them all but I understand them. On the other hand the Labor socialist views where in meetings everyone is referred to as comrade I strongly oppose.
    If you are green your voice is amongst the radical extremist. Just goes with the turf.

  9. @ Janet: I would never have guessed you thought that way!
    @ Hal: Not only did it take numerous attempts for Stuart to cross the continent, but his journals frequently tell of the party’s struggle to manage the challenges of gift receiving / giving. There’s also some fascinating passages describing what seems to be incorrect protocol at places of communal importance – and the ensuing scenes / events.
    (As regards total time elapsed, not sure about down to the month, but 1858 – 1862 are covered in his journals, so if we’re comparing to 2010 – 2014, it’s probably pretty close.)

  10. @ Edan. You really did not write Stuart did not behave in a manner set in correct protocol.
    You really are lost in your very own world. If I remember correctly women did not have the right to vote. Now how does your protocol comment make any sense.
    Times change, lessons are learnt and the world moves on.
    But wait there is more. Edan is about to give us a lesson on the mistakes of our past.
    No matter that we have evolved. And everyone makes mistakes, even today.

  11. I’m not much of an art buff, but I fully support this statue, and where it is, simply for the fact that it depicts a famous explorer, who upend up the country and pretty well founded the site for our town, at least the region.
    It would be good to have many more similar statues around town, with stories people could read and learn from.
    Would love to see a statue of the original Afghan cameleers, Albert Namatjira, Olive Pink, Dr John Flynn etc. sculptured history of our founding fathers, throughout the town would be unique, informative and a talking point.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here