Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association

Kangaroo Island sits off the South Australian coast (off the Fleurieu Penninsula).


Frenchman’s Rock

 French Man's Rock


Contemplation Seat

 Contemplation Seat


The Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association (KIPA) has been promoting the history of Kangaroo Island for over 30 years.  During this time members have been researching, recording and preserving historic sites on the island.  All work is undertaken by volunteers and funding for projects comes from Government and environmental foundations.   

KIPA is seeking to upgrade ‘Frenchman’s Rock’ which is a State Heritage listed feature located in the township of Penneshaw.   KIPA is working with the Penneshaw Progress Association to plan and source  funding. 

Students are required to assist with a comprehensive scope of works to enable first order estimates for inclusion in grant applications.  This work will require:

  • a full review of the site;
  • preparation of a report outlining how to fix the drainage issues;
  • cost effective suggestions about the site’s restoration.

‘Frenchman’s Rock’ was inscribed by a French sailor who was sent ashore from Nicholas Baudin’s ship ‘Le Geographe’ when it was anchored in Hog Bay (now Penneshaw) in 1803.  The rock has since became one of the preeminent tourist sites in Penneshaw. 

No work has been done on the site since 1998 and it has deteriorated badly over the past 20 years, mainly due to water problems in three areas:

  • natural run off from the road above, which has been left to run through the site;
  • water from the ‘well’ or spring in the vicinity;
  • exposure to coastal spray and rain.

In addition, positioned across the road from the Frenchman’s Rock site, is the Contemplation Seat. This is memorial to the Tasmanian and mainland Australian Aboriginal women taken to Kangaroo Island by sealers prior to official settlement in 1836.  This site is approached via a set of stairs into which the names of these women had been engraved.  Unfortunately both the Seat and the steps have deteriorated and also need to be upgraded and preserved.  This may require some historical research to identify the names that have now disappeared from the steps.

Frenchman’s Rock and the Contemplation Seat are close to the ferry and cruise ship terminal and their restoration will provide an additional Penneshaw-based attraction for thousands of visitors and cruise ship passengers.  Once the sites have been upgraded KIPA envisages a campaign promoting the improvements locally and nationally.

Areas of study and research

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