John Bailey | State Library of New South Wales

John Bailey

“Expecting the bailiff”, on 30 June 1930 Lasseter visited John Bailey, then President of the Central Branch of the Australian Worker’s Union, at his office in Sydney and told him about his life as a qualified sea captain and explorations in Central Australia when he was seventeen.

The lure of gold at the time of the Depression inspired enthusiasm from many quarters and the Central Australian Gold Exploration (CAGE) Company was formed with Bailey as Director, lending support to Lasseter’s claims. Lasseter was employed as guide and was paid 5 pounds a week.

John Bailey wrote his account of the Lasseter expedition with the intent that, "the history of those expeditions should be placed upon record for the benefit of students so that they will have an opportunity of knowing the true facts."  


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> Read John Bailey's account via the Library's catalogue Link to catalogue

In 1930 a well-resourced expedition was formed, led by Fred Blakeley, an experienced prospector and opal miner with Lasseter as guide, to search for the reef. Other members of the party were prospector George Sutherland, pilot Errol Coote, Captain Blakiston-Houston aide-de-camp to Lord Stonehaven, the Governor-General, mechanic, Phil Taylor and Fred Colson in the back-up vehicle.