Aboriginal timeline: Massacres

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  1. William Moree, a lieutenant of the New South Wales Rum Corps, orders to open fire at Risdon Cove, Tasmania, on a group of about 300 Aboriginal people who are probably hunting kangaroos. Between 30 and 60 Aboriginal people are killed. The Lieutenant tries to cover-up the incident, claiming only 3 had been shot.

    Hostilities increase – the slaughter of Aboriginal people in Australia has begun. Settlers are authorised to shoot unarmed Aboriginal people.


  1. There are a number of large scale killings as conflict over dispossession of land and erosion of hunting rights continues.


  1. A massacre of Aboriginal people occurs at Gravesend, New South Wales with more than 200 killed.


  1. Major Nunn’s campaign. Mounted police, mostly European volunteers, set out in response to conflict on the Liverpool Plains, north central NSW. At Vinegar Hill, a site on ‘Slaughterhouse Creek’, 60 - 70 Aboriginal people are reported killed. The only European casualty is a corporal, speared in the leg.

  2. The ‘Myall Creek Massacre’ occurs. 12 heavily armed colonists rounded up and brutally kill 28 Aboriginal people from a group of 40 or 50 people gathered at Henry Dangar’s Station, at Myall Creek near Inverell (NSW). The massacre was believed to be a payback for the killing of several hut keepers and two shepherds. But most of those killed were
    women and children and good relations existed between the Aboriginal people and European occupants of the station.
    Seven stockmen are eventually hanged for murder. This outrages the colonial press and parts of the public who cannot understand why anyone should hang for murdering Aboriginal people.


  1. An entire community of Aboriginal people perishes in a massacre at Long Lagoon, a newly settled station in inland Queensland.


  1. 30 Aboriginal people massacred at Rufus River in New South Wales, close to the boundaries with Victoria and South Australia.


  1. Aboriginal people kill 19 settlers near Emerald, Queensland. About 170 Aboriginal people are killed in reprisal.


  1. 150 Aboriginal people are killed resisting arrest in the Kimberley, Western Australia.


  1. Massacre of Aboriginal people on the McKinlay River, Northern Territory. The perpetrators are exonerated by an official inquiry.


  1. An inquiry is held into the Forest River Massacre in the Kimberley.


  1. Sturt Massacre in the Kimberley: A police party is searching for an Aboriginal man named Banjo, who was thought to have murdered pastoralists Joseph Condren and Tim O’Sullivan. They shoot at a group of Aboriginal people near Sturt Creek, and when the ammunition runs out, they chain up Aboriginal men, women and children and march them to the old Denison Downs homestead where they shoot and burn them.


  1. Following the killing of a European in Dala, Western Australia, 11 Aboriginal people are murdered in police custody; no prosecutions follow.


  1. Conniston Massacre in the Northern Territory. Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after a European dingo trapper and a station owner are attacked by them.
    A court of inquiry rules the Europeans’ action ‘justified’. Aboriginal people are refused legal aid by the federal government.


  1. Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw apologises for the for state-sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people at Coniston (200 kilometres north of Alice Springs). "As a police officer and commissioner I'm sorry for what has occurred." he says in a speech.


View article sources (3)

[1] 'Blood On The Wattle', Bruce Elder, 2002 p.32f
[2] New South Wales Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Education & Training Directory, 1998, pp.8-9
[3] 'Aboriginal massacre sites uncovered in first forensic science study', ABC News 1/10/2017

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Aboriginal timeline: Massacres, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/massacres>, retrieved 20 July 2024

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