From Another View – Exhibition

Tuesday 07 May 2019 12:00PM to Friday 19 July 2019 05:00PM
Ground Floor Gallery

This exhibition by the State Library, in partnership with the Minderoo Foundation considers the legacy of John Forrest’s 1874 trek in shaping Western and South Australian exploration history. State Library staff travelled through Western Australia and talked to Yamaji, Martu and Yarnangu/Aṉangu/Yaṉangu peoples about explorers walking through Country. From Another View considers those voices and aims to contextualise Aboriginal peoples' understanding of Country with those of the explorers.

The exhibitions span three sites: The State Library of Western Australia (7 May – 19 July 2019), Gallery Central, North Metro TAFE (30 May – 22 June 2019) and Museum of Geraldton (1–26 July 2019). Gallery Central and the Museum of Geraldton will host the creative responses to exploration and living on Country, and include Queensland artist Bill Gannon and Aboriginal Creative Fellows from Yamaji Country, Western Desert and Ngaanyatjarra Lands. For more information about the project please visit


The diary of John Forrest’s 1874 trek from Geraldton to South Australia was given to the State Library in 1964. It is very likely that it was donated by a member of the Forrest Family, though at that time there were no computer records and our records from this time are not clear. The diary was amongst a large collection of Forrest family materials, which was transferred from the old library to the new building in the Cultural Centre in 1985, where it was located on the 4th floor. At that stage it was still just part of a larger collection that had not been comprehensively described.  However, in November 2016, this all changed, with the collection more extensively described, the diary identified as part of a valuation process as extremely valuable, and immediately placed in the most secure section of the library.
This diary is one of the treasures of the State Library and the story it tells was crucial in the development of the From another View project. Read a digital copy of the diary in the Catalogue. There are also a number of opportunities to see the actual diary. As part of the State Library's From Another View project the Library will offer six free sessions for the community to view historical items in their original format, including Forrest’s diary from the 1874 trek. Location: Leah Jane Cohen Reading Room, J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History, Level 3 State Library of Western Australia. Free activity | bookings required | Open up the Archives; From Another View | Thursdays fortnightly 1.00pm–2.00pm | 23 May; 6 June; 20 June; 4 July; 18 July.


The below video features 'From Another View' artist Bill Gannon. It follows the John Forrest  trek from Geraldton to Adelaide using Bill's mural "1874 - Six Crossed the Vast Interior" as a guide. Bill has retraced Australian explorers on land and sea including: Matthew Flinders, Ludwig Leichardt, John McDouall Stuart, Major Thomas Mitchell and now John Forrest.  Project collaboration State Library of Western Australia and The Minderoo Foundation.