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Frank Feast expeditions audio visuals and transcripts

Frank Feast was a young man who accompanied Dr Herbert Basedow on four expeditions in central and northern Australia in the 1920s. In an interview recorded in 1986, Frank Feast reminisces on expeditions with Herbert Basedow in 1920, 1922, 1926 and 1928.

Third medical relief expedition, 1920

Basedow undertook three medical surveys of Aboriginal people in South Australia and the southern Northern Territory in 1919 and 1920. Feast, who was 17 at the time, was one of Basedow's assistants on the third expeditions, the others being Basedow's wife Nell and an Arrernte Aboriginal man, Arrerika or Punch. They travelled with a camel-drawn buggy.

Third medical relief expedition, 1920 5:08

Feast's recollections and photos of the third medical relief expedition, 1920. Read the transcript

Mararoa geological expedition, 1922

In 1922 Basedow was commissioned by Mararoa Gold Mining Company to prospect for oil on a block of land in the Victoria River district of the Northern Territory. Feast assisted Basedow on this expedition, as camp assistant and cook. This time the party travelled by car and horse-drawn buggy.

Mararoa geological expedition, 1922 3:58

Feast’s recollections and photos of the Mararoa geological expedition, 1922. Read the transcript

Mackay expedition in Central Australia, 1926

This expedition was funded by Donald Mackay, a wealthy grazier, who was keen to explore the economic potential of western central Australia. He engaged Basedow as surveyor and geologist, and Feast as camp assistant and cook. Transport was provided by 25 camels and a camel-drawn buggy.

Mackay expedition in Central Australia, 1926 4:00

Feast’s recollections and photos of the Mackay expedition in Central Australia, 1926. Read the transcript

Mackay expedition in Arnhem Land, 1928

Mackay, Basedow and Feast teamed up again in 1928 on a four-month exploration of Arnhem Land. This time they travelled with horses and mules, looking for grazing land and mineral deposits.

Mackay expedition in Arnhem Land, 1928 3:50

Feast’s recollections and photos of the Mackay expedition in Arnhem Land, 1928. Read the transcript

Audio visual credits

  • Stills by Frank Feast. National Museum of Australia
  • Film footage of Basedow and party in Oodnadatta, 1926. Cinematographer: Clarence William Judd. State Library of South Australia
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