180th anniversary of Myall Creek Massacre to be commemorated

The 2017 Myall Creek commemoration.
The 2017 Myall Creek commemoration.

Each year hundreds of people from across the country gather to commemorate the unprovoked massacre of 28 Wirrayaraay women, children and old men by a group of stockmen on Myall Creek Station in 1838.

This year marks the 180th anniversary of this horrific event, to be commemorated at the Myall Creek Memorial on Sunday, June 10. 

On the day the Friends of Myall Creek committee will screen a short video funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, promoting plans to establish an educational and cultural centre at Myall Creek.

Kamilaroi man Roger Knox, also known as the ‘Koori King of Country’, will share songs to honour his people along with the Tingha and Gomeroi dancers.

Students will be congratulated for their efforts in expressing their understanding of reconciliation through art, writing and songs with the announcement of the winners of the 10th annual Thoughts and Dreams competition.

This year’s theme is ‘180 years on...What have we learnt?’. An exhibition of the finalists will be displayed in the hall.

On the Bingara-Delungra Road near Inverell, the memorial was erected in June 2000 by a group of Aboriginal and non-indigenous people working together in an act of reconciliation.

In 2008 the massacre site and memorial received national recognition when it was included on the National Heritage Register. 

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In announcing its inclusion Peter Garrett, then federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, said the memorial was “a sign of how we continue to grow and mature as a nation.  That we come to terms with our past, acknowledge it, identify it and then move forward together, sharing the future.”

The memorial also received NSW state heritage listing in 2010.

The annual memorial service is open to everyone. Those intending to participate are invited to gather at the Myall Creek Hall by 9.30am on Sunday, June 10 for morning tea.

A lunch prepared by the local Country Women’s Association will be available after the ceremony for a small charge.

Additional Myall Creek 180th events

Thursday, June 7

The Myall Creek Memorial Historical Exhibition opening will be held from 6pm at the Armidale and region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place on 28 Kentucky Street, Armidale.

Friday, June 8

The Myall Creek and Beyond Symposium will run from 9am–5pm at Oorala Aboriginal Centre, University of New England

The Myall Creek and Beyond Exhibition opening will be held at 6pm at the New England Regional Art Museum on 106–114 Kentucky Street, Armidale.

Saturday, June 9

Artists will talk about their Myall Creek and Beyond artwork from 11am–12.30pm at the New England Regional Art Museum on 106–114 Kentucky Street, Armidale

The Sounds of Country concert will feature Roger Knox, Eurabe, the Buddy Knox Blues Band, Quarralia Knox, Gomeroi dancers, Danni Fogg, Jacinta Jones, Anne Marie McGuire, George Huitker and Junk Sculpture Junior. Ticket prices are $10 for children under 12, $15 for pensioner/student concession and $25 for adults. The concert will be held from 1.45pm–4.00pm at the Roxy Theatre on Maitland Street, Bingara

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