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Biographical entry Terry, Michael (1899 - 1981)

3 May 1899
Gateshead, Durham, England
Surveyor, Explorer and Author


Michael Terry was the leader of fourteen inland Australia expeditions between 1923 and 1935, mainly working for Adelaide mining companies seeking minerals.



1917 - 1918
Served in the No. 2 Squadron of the RNAS Armoured Cars, with foreign service in Russia
December 1917
Captured by Bolsheviks at Kursk in Russia
Life event - Settled in Australia
1922 - 1923
Crossed Australia from Winton, Queensland, to Broome, Western Australia in a car
Led an expedition with caterpillar-track trucks from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Broome, Western Australia
Led an expedition with six-wheel trucks from Port Hedland in Western Australia to Melbourne, Victoria
1929 - 1933
Led several expeditions to various parts of central Australia
1934 - 1936
Prospected near Laverton, Western Australia
1939 - 1946
Government service
1946 - ?

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Charlotte Barnard - Papers, 1985 - 1989, MS 8414; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Michael Terry - Paper, Cuttings, Books and Photographs, 1884 - 1978, MS 611; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Michael Terry - Records, 1920 - 1964, DeB 47; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

South Australian Museum Archives

  • Michael Terry - Records, 1923 - 1938, A.D. 11; South Australian Museum Archives. Details

Published resources


  • Terry, Michael, Across Unknown Australia: a thrilling account of exploration in the Northern Territory of Australia (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1925), 311 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, Through a Land of Promise: with gun, car and camera in the heart of Northern Australia (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1927), 336 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, Hidden Wealth and Hiding People (London: Putnam, 1931), 350 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, Untold Miles: three gold-hunting expeditions amongst the picturesque borderland ranges of Central Australia (London: Selwyn & Blount, 1932), 288 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, Sand and Sun: two gold-hunting expeditions with camels in the dry lands of Central Australia (London: Michael Joseph, 1937), 288 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, Bulldozer: the war role of the Department of Main Roads, New South Wales (Sydney: Frank Johnson, 1945), 261 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, War of the Warramullas (Adelaide: Rigby, 1974), 171 pp. Details
  • Terry, Michael, The last explorer: the autobiography of Michael Terry, FRGS, FRGSA (Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales: Australian National University Press, 1987), 115 pp. Details


McCarthy, G.J.