Curtin adventurers to follow Canning’s pioneering footsteps

Media release

C136/08

100 years after pioneer Alfred Canning surveyed the Canning Stock Route, Curtin University students and members of the local Indigenous communities, will traverse the track to evaluate historical survey marks and native title claims along the route.

Seven vehicles, 17 people and over one tonne of food will be required for the 16 day journey which includes two members of the Martu people and one from the Birriliburu people, who are traditional owners of parts of the land adjacent to the stock route.

Mr Joe Mahoney is the Project Manager and one of the Bachelor of Surveying in Spatial Sciences students, who is using the expedition to complete his final year project. He explained the purpose of the expedition.

“We plan to survey a section of the Canning Stock Route, commencing at Well 22, where the Talawana Track intersects with the Stock Route, heading south to retrace Canning’s steps to Wiluna,” Mr Mahoney said.

“The team will not only undertake critical surveying work on behalf of Landgate, but will also evaluate native title areas along the route.

“In many ways the spatial upgrade component of the project ties in very well with the historical project as the route follows traditional water holes, which the Indigenous people assisted Canning to find.”

Alfred Canning’s original survey of the Canning Stock Route began at the rail head in Wiluna and negotiated some of the harshest country in Australia to finish at Halls Creek in the Kimberley. The route was again surveyed in 1930, however the accuracy of the survey marks is thought to be up to five kilometres out.

The student surveyors will be looking for the historical survey marks along the route and by using various GPS systems and survey techniques will locate and place new, more accurate survey marks.

The project has been sponsored by industry and government and will commence on 3rd July 2008.

Sponsors include Landgate, Sokkia, Associated Instrumentation, the Land Surveyors Licensing Board (LSLB), the Spatial Sciences Department at Curtin University, Land Surveyors Pty Ltd, Fugro Pty Ltd, Whelans, McMullen Nolan and Partners Surveyors Pty Ltd, Austin Surveys, Cottage & Engineering Surveys and RM Surveys.

Participants include five surveying students, one cartography student, two Curtin University lecturers, four surveying professionals, a two person documentary team, two members of the Martu people and one from the Birriliburu people.

Contact: Kirby Gamble, CSR Trip PR/Website Manager, 0427 773 602 kirby.gamble@student.curtin.edu.au or Lisa Mayer, PR Coordinator, Curtin University of Technology, 08 9266 1930, 0401 103 755 l.mayer@curtin.edu.au

CRICOS provider code: 00301J