Staniforth Smith

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Staniforth Smith

Staniforth Smith.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
In office
29 March 1901 – 31 December 1906
Personal details
Born(1869-02-25)25 February 1869
Kingston, Victoria
Died14 January 1934(1934-01-14) (aged 64)
Perth, Western Australia
Political partyFree Trade Party
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne

Miles Staniforth Cater Smith, MBE (25 February 1869 – 14 January 1934) was an Australian politician. Born in Kingston, Victoria, he was educated at St Arnaud Grammar School and then the University of Melbourne before becoming an engineer.

He moved to Western Australia in 1896, becoming a public servant. He sat on Kalgoorlie Council, of which he was mayor in 1900, and was a leading federalist. In 1901, he was elected to the Australian Senate as a Free Trade Senator for Western Australia, holding the seat until his retirement in 1906.

He then became involved in Government Service in Papua, where in 1907 he was appointed Director of Agriculture and Mines. In 1910-11, he led an expedition into the interior, where he and his party were lost and feared dead for several weeks. Rescued with much publicity, he was hailed as an explorer and in 1923 awarded the Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.[1]

Staniforth Smith as a private soldier in 1916 (Illustrated War News)

During the First World War he served in the military from 1916 to 1918, for which he was awarded an MBE. On his return to Australia he briefly served as acting Administrator of the Northern Territory for 1919-1921, before resuming his involvement with Papua as Commissioner for Crown Lands, Mines and Agriculture. After retiring from government service in 1930, he took up farming at Boyup Brook in Western Australia, where he died in 1934.[2]


The Staniforth mountain range is named after him due to role he played in the passing of the Papua Act 1905 which saw the transfer of the territory of Papua from Britain to Australia.[3][4]


  1. ^ "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  3. ^ Gibbney, H. J. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University – via Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  4. ^ Carr, Adam. "Psephos - Adam Carr's Election Archive".

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