Behind every story

Recovering the past

Featured in

  • Published 20170207
  • ISBN: 9781925498295
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT MAY NOT be the best painting in the Art Gallery of South Australia, and it may not be the most valuable. But one of the gallery’s most historically significant paintings is an enormous canvas by the nineteenth-century Adelaide artist Charles Hill, entitled The Proclamation of South Australia 1836. Painted decades after the fact, it shows the gathering of South Australia’s earliest white settlers near the beach at Glenelg, all still living in tents and all come to hear the Proclamation. This is a real historical document, one that officially announced to the settlers that, with the arrival of His Excellency the Governor on this hot Adelaide day aboard the Buffalo, the colonial government of His Majesty’s new province had been formally established. Subsequently published in the second issue of the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, on 3 June 1837, the Proclamation exhorted them:

…to conduct themselves on all occasions with order and quietness, duly to respect the laws, and by a course of industry and sobriety, by the practice of sound morality and a strict observance of the Ordinances of Religion, to prove themselves worthy to be the Founders of a great and free Colony.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy is a freelance writer and critic, who spent seventeen years as a lecturer in literature at the University of Melbourne. She has...

More from this edition

Waiting for the sun

ReportageEVEN THOUGH I have been lost in the pop-culture megastores of Tokyo, and touched the bronze horns of the Wall Street bull, I never...

The engine of Christmas

GR OnlineThen the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!   MAT...

Dunstan, Christies and me

MemoirADELAIDE’S GOLDEN AGE began when the Beatles flew into town on 12 June 1964, electrifying the citizenry out of their country--town torpor into a...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.