This breastplate was presented by the Exploration Committee of Victoria to the Yandruwandha people of Cooper Creek who assisted explorers Robert O’Hara Burke, William John Wills and John King between April and September 1861.
Burke and Wills died in the Cooper Creek area of Queensland on the return leg of their south to north crossing of the continent. The Yandruwandha cared for King until he was found by a relief party.
Breastplates, also known as gorgets and king plates, were given to Aboriginal elders, stockmen, trackers and those who have provided faithful service or had saved the lives of non-Indigenous people. See this object, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.