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Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site
Aboriginals fighting against the europeans invading their natural homes.png
Sketch of "Aboriginals fighting against the Europeans invading their natural homes", by Samuel Calvert
Location Bingara Delungra Road, Myall Creek via Bingara, Gwydir Shire, New South Wales, Australia
Built 1838–
Owner Gwydir Shire Council; Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA)
Official name: Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site; Myall Creek Massacre Area
Type state heritage (landscape)
Designated 12 November 2010
Reference no. 1844
Type Historic site
Category Aboriginal

Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is the heritage-listed site of and memorial for the victims of the Myall Creek massacre at Bingara Delungra Road, Myall Creek, Gwydir Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was added to the Australian National Heritage List on 7 June 2008 and the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 12 November 2010.

Description

1844 - Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site - At the end of the walkway is the memorial set on a rise over looking the site of the massacre (5056626b3)
At the end of the walkway is the memorial set on a rise over looking the site of the massacre

The Myall Creek massacre and memorial site is located on gently rolling slopes and small hills which have mostly been cleared and improved for grazing sheep and cattle. The area supports dry sclerophyll woodland species such as the White Box, Bimble Box, Red Gum, Scribbly Gum and various Ironbarks. The land is part of a Travelling Stock Route used by cattle to access the creek.

Two basalt blocks mark the beginning of the memorial walkway which is a 600-metre winding path in red gravel that leads through woodland and grasses. At various stages along the walkway there are seven oval shaped granite boulders which contain plaques with etchings and words in English and Gamilaroi. These plaques tell the story of the Myall Creek massacre. At the end of the walkway the memorial is set on a rise overlooking the site of the massacre between five spreading gumtrees. The memorial rock is a 14 tonne granite boulder with a simple plaque surrounded by a circle of crushed white granite, edged in by stones from all around the state of New South Wales.

1844 - Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site - Bronze plaque commemorating the massacre (5056626b4)
Bronze plaque commemorating the massacre

The Bronze Plaque on the memorial states:

In memory of the Wirrayaraay people who were murdered on the slopes of this ridge in an unprovoked but premeditated act in the late afternoon of 10 June 1838. Erected on 10 June 2000 by a group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in an act of reconciliation, and in acknowledgment of the truth of our shared history. We Remember them (Ngiyani winangay ganunga).

The area is mainly woodland with the Myall Creek Memorial being constructed of fire resistant granite and metal alloys.

The Myall Creek Memorial was opened in 2000. The memorial is managed by the Gwydir Shire Council and the Myall Creek Memorial Committee.

Heritage listing

1844 - Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site - SHR Plan No 2339 (5056626b7)
Heritage boundaries

The brutal massacre at Myall Creek of around 30 men, women and children of the Wirrayaraay and Gamilaroi peoples in June 1838, the subsequent court cases and the hanging of the seven settlers for their role in the massacre, was pivotal in the development of the relationship between settlers and Aboriginal people in NSW. It was the last attempt by the Colonial Administration to use the law to control frontier conflict between settlers and Aboriginal people. Instead of setting a precedent that Aboriginal people could be protected under the law, it hardened settlers' resolve to use whatever means were available to clear Aboriginal people from the land on the frontier.

The massacre at Myall Creek is a relatively rare instance in NSW, where the massacre of Aboriginal people (as a result of frontier violence) is well documented, and broadly speaking the massacre is representative of the violent conflict that took place in frontier areas between Aboriginal people and settlers. The massacre at Myall Creek is also a landmark event because accounts of the massacre, written from the 1850s to the present, have continued to remind Australians about the mistreatment of Aboriginal people during the period of frontier conflict.

The Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is of high significance to the Wirrayaraay of Gamilaroi people, as the site of the brutal murder of their ancestors and for its ability to demonstrate the Wirrayaraay and Gamilaroi peoples experience of colonisation. The importance of site to the Wirrayaraay people is evidenced by their participation in the campaign to establish a memorial on the site of the massacre, and their continuing involvement in the management of site. Descendants of Aboriginal people who survived the massacre form part of the Myall Creek Memorial Committee, which co-manages the site.

The Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is important to the local community as a symbol of reconciliation and a place of education. District schools and representatives of all the Shires in the region participate in the annual service held at the site. The Myall Creek Memorial is also a place of reconciliation for the descendants of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people involved in Myall Creek massacre. In recognition of the role that the memorial has played as a place of reconciliation, the Myall Creek Memorial was the winner of the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation's Judith Wright Reconciliation Prize, in 2003.

Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 12 November 2010 having satisfied the following criteria.

The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales.

The Myall Creek Massacre, the subsequent court cases and the hanging of seven settlers, played a pivotal role in the development of the relationship between settlers and Aboriginal people. In the half century following British settlement, the Colonial Administration stated on numerous occasions that Aboriginal people and settlers were equal before the law. However, juries regularly found settlers accused on killing Aboriginal people on the frontier not guilty. The Myall Creek massacre is important in the course of New South Wales' history as it was the last time the Colonial Administration intervened to ensure the laws of the colony were applied equally to Aboriginal people and settlers involved in frontier killings. The massacre at Myall Creek is also a landmark event because accounts of the massacre, written from the 1850s to the present, have continued to remind Australians about the mistreatment of Aboriginal people during the period of frontier conflict.

The place has a strong or special association with a person, or group of persons, of importance of cultural or natural history of New South Wales's history.

The Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is associated with the brutal massacre in June 1838 of a group of men, women and children of the Wirrayaraay and Gamilaroi peoples by settlers. A group of around 30 Aboriginal people were camped peacefully on Myall Creek Station when twelve stockmen rode on to the station, rounded them up and tied them together, before leading them off to be massacred.

The place has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

The Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is of high significance to the Wirrayaraay of Gamilaroi people, as the site of the brutal murder of their ancestors and for its ability to demonstrate the Wirrayaraay and Gamilaroi peoples experience of colonisation. The importance of site to the Wirrayaraay people is evidenced by their participation in the campaign to establish a memorial on the site of the massacre, and their continuing involvement in the management of site. Descendants of Aboriginal people who survived the massacre form part of the Myall Creek Memorial Committee, which co-manages the site.

The Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site is important to the local community as a symbol of reconciliation and a place of education. District schools and representatives of all the Shires in the region participate in the annual service held at the site. The Myall Creek Memorial is also a place of reconciliation for the descendants of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people involved in Myall Creek massacre. In recognition of the role that the memorial has played as a place of reconciliation, the Myall Creek Memorial was the winner of the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation's Judith Wright Reconciliation Prize, in 2003.

The place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

The Myall Creek Massacre is a relatively rare instance in NSW where the massacre of Aboriginal people, as a result of frontier violence, is well documented. The substantial public record of the terrible events that took place at Myall Creek Station on the 10 June 1838 exists, largely because of the immediate reporting of the event, the investigation by officers of the law and the documentation of the event through the subsequent court cases.

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places/environments in New South Wales.

The expansion of pastoral frontiers in the Colony of New South Wales, was invariably accompanied by some degree of conflict between settlers and displaced Aboriginal peoples. During the years 1837 and 1846 the Colony experienced the worst racial clashes in its history. The massacre at Myall Creek is a well documented example of the mistreatment of Aboriginal people during this period.

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