To commemorate the bi-centenary of legendary explorer Matthew Flinders’ death, a statue was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Cambridge at an exclusive event in London on 18 July. Flinders University has been a prominent supporter of the project and a parallel event in Adelaide on 19 July commemorated one of Australia’s best known explorers.
Officially unveiled by Prince William at a ceremony at Australia House in London, the life-sized bronze statue of Matthew Flinders is situated on the main concourse of Euston Station in North London, under which the English cartographer and first explorer to circumnavigate Australia is believed to be buried.
The statue was organised and funded by the work of the Matthew Flinders Memorial Statue Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the Government of South Australia, Flinders University and the British and Australian communities. Since 2012, the group has been collaborating to plan for the bicentenary and the project has been funded through the sale of limited edition one-quarter sized maquettes and donations.
The statue depicts a working Matthew Flinders in action over a stylised map of Australia surrounded by the tools of his trade and his cat Trim, who travelled with him on his voyage. Trim has become Flinders University’s unofficial mascot over the past few years. Mark Richards, who is considered one of the United Kingdom’s finest figure and portrait sculptors, was commissioned to produce the statue.
Direct descendants of Matthew Flinders gathered at Flinders University Victoria Square on 19 July to celebrate the royal unveiling of the commemorative statute. A precursor to the various activities, projects and events leading up to the University’s 50th anniversary in 2016, exclusive footage from the unveiling that took place the previous day in London was screened.
You can discover more about Matthew Flinders and the memorial statue at: