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14 June 2007

Eminent scholars will talk about Ludwig Leichhardt in all his facets — explorer, scientist, and figure of literature and mystery, in a free public symposium at the National Museum of Australia tomorrow.

'Most Australians today have little idea of who Leichhardt was beyond a vague idea of him disappearing into the wilderness in 1848,' said senior curator Matthew Higgins.

'That he had already successfully completed one of the longest overland journeys in our exploration history, and as a scientist was one of the most acute observers of the Australian environment, is forgotten by most.'

In 1848 Leichhardt set out to cross the continent from Moreton Bay, Queensland to Swan River, Western Australia. His entire expedition was never seen again and the mystery has been subject to numerous theories ever since.

The symposium follows the Museum's acquisition of the first authenticated artefact from Leichhardt's third major expedition. The brass nameplate marked 'LUDWIG LEICHHARDT 1848' was acquired in November 2006.

The free symposium will be held in the Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia, 8.30am to 4.15pm on Friday, 15 June. Bookings essential: (02) 6208 5021.

For further details about the symposium program visit

For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on
02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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