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Bush pram and dog boots

At a glance

  • Myles, Margaret and Milo Dunphy
  • Bushwalking
  • Environmental conservation
A folding pram (perambulator) with a metal frame and woven wicker body and hood that has separate canvas flaps attached to the left and right side, 1930s.
The bush pram 'Kanangra Express' made by Myles Dunphy, 1930s. Photo: George Serras.

Little wheels in the wilderness

Environmental campaigner Myles Dunphy modified this pram so he could take his baby son Milo on bushwalks.

In 1931 Myles and his wife Margaret pushed Milo in this pram from Oberon to Kanangra Tops. Their journey in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales covered many kilometres.

The pram was nicknamed the 'Kanangra Express'. It could be folded up and carried over rugged terrain.

It is part of a large collection of bushwalking equipment donated to the National Museum by Milo Kanangra Dunphy, the boy in the pram.

Dextre's dog boots

The Dunphy collection also includes a set of small, handcrafted leather dog boots.

Myles made the boots so that the family's pet, Dextre, would not cut his feet on sharp rocks while they were in the bush.

On the left, a photo of a small black and white dog sitting down. On the right, a set of small leather dog boots with eyelets and laces at the rear.
Dextre the dog, about 1930. Courtesy: Dunphy family, and the small leather boots he wore on family camping trips. Photo: George Serras.

Dunphy family tradition

Portrait of a man standing in a forest wearing a hat and waterproof jacket.
Milo Dunphy at Wadbilliga forest, about 1985. Courtesy: Caroline Begg.

Myles Dunphy was one of Australia's earliest campaigners for environmental conservation. He formed Sydney's first bushwalking club, the Mountain Trails Club, in 1914.

Myles campaigned to protect bushland and helped to change public attitudes of the bush as a place of exploitation to a place of recreation and appreciation. He lobbied for national parks and was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his services to conservation.

Milo followed in his father's footsteps and was a keen bushwalker and passionate wilderness campaigner. He was Director of Sydney's Total Environment Centre for more than 20 years.

This is an edited extract of an essay by Matthew Higgins which appeared in the Captivating and Curious publication.

Landmarks

The Dunphy dog boots are on show in the National Museum's Landmarks gallery.

Landmarks: People and Places across Australia