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National Museum of Australia

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4

Yacca walking-stick

Object information

Physical description

Walking-stick, called a "Yacca" walking-stick, made from the stem of a grass tree "Xanthorrhoea semiplana" with a yellow Kodak film cannister end at the top and a black rubber cup at the base. A hole has been chiseled through the top end to carry a leather hand strap. The stick has been varnished but is chipped from constant use.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of a range of objects used by C Warren Bonython on his pioneering arid zone bushwalks in South Australia and the Northern Territory in the years following the Second Warld War. The collection objects include the 'Comalco Camel' water and supply cart, desert boots, Paddy Pallin rucksack and 'Yacca' walking stick.

Pioneering long-distance bushwalker, Charles Warren Bonython (1916 - 2012), was well known for his contributions to nature conservation in Australia and his pioneering bushwalking expeditions in the Australian arid zone. His most famous expedition was the 1973 walk across the Simpson Desert, during which he and expedition partner Charles McCubbin pulled the specially built Comalco Camel supply cart, which carried all of their water and food. This and other exploits earned Bonython the John Lewis Gold Medal for Exploration from the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia in 1984, and the award of Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 1990. His support of conservation and membership of many Not-for-Profit and government advisory committees on natural heritage conservation, along with his expeditions and publications, earned him the Order of Australia in 1980. The Comalco Camel water and supply cart and associated bushwalking equipment were used in the famous walk across the Simpson Desert, documented in his book Walking the Simpson Desert (1980, Rigby, Adelaide).

Object information

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