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Bentinck Island, Queensland facts for kids

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Bentinck Island, Queensland
Bentinck Island, Queensland is located in Queensland
Bentinck Island, Queensland
Bentinck Island, Queensland
Location in Queensland
Location Queensland
Coordinates 17°04′01″S 139°30′00″E / 17.06695°S 139.5°E / -17.06695; 139.5
Adjacent bodies of water Gulf of Carpentaria
State Queensland
Capital and largest city Brisbane (pop. 2,462,637)
Population 0 (2016)

Bentinck Island is one of the South Wellesley Islands, in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria.

In 1918, the island was the site of the McKenzie massacre, in which many indigenous inhabitants, including women and children, died.


The Kayardild language was spoken on the island.

Sometime around 1916, a man remembered only as McKenzie came to Bentinck Island and set up a sheep run, basing himself on a site at the mouth of the Kurumnbali estuary. He would ride over the island, accompanied by a pack of dogs, and shoot any Kaiadilt man who came within sight; in local memory, he murdered at least 11 people. He also kidnapped native girls. He then moved to Sweers Island, and set up a lime kiln there. The Kaiadilt managed to return to Sweers only on McKenzie's departure. The massacre was only recorded by researchers in the 1980s.


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