The story of Myall Creek did not finish in 1838. That story continues in the reconcilation story of healing and hope represented in the story of the Memorial. This story is living history, and we are all part of writing the next chapters …
(for tours of the Memorial contact Brian Donnelly 0487 416 906)
Memorial Story Timeline
Len Payne, a Bingara resident, proposed the erection of a memorial in the memory of those who died. In the 1980s Len with others every June 10 laid a wreath at the site. Len never lost hope that one day a memorial would be built and up until his death in 1993 he continued to visit the site
A conference convened by the Uniting Church at Myall Creek on the invitation of Sue Blacklock a descendant of those who survived the Massacre, decided to erect a permanent memorial. The Myall Creek Memorial committee was formed.
February 20th, 1999
The grounds for erecting the memorial were established: If we and our descendants are to live in peace in Australia then we have to tell and acknowledge that truth of our history. It is not that all of our history is bad, but the bad must be acknowledged along with the good, if we are to have any integrity. There is a code of silence surrounding the massacres.
Read more …
The Rainbow Snake Booragan. The winding shape represents the path of the memorial walk. By artist Colin Isaacs
Myall Creek Memorial Plaques Text
Along the walk there are places to stop and reflect on what happened in 1838. Each stopping place has a plaque set on granite rock.
In Gamilaraay language, paraphrased in English. Images by Colin Isaacs.
1. Giirr ngurrambaa, walaaybaa nhalay Wirrayaraaygu Gamilaraaygu.
From time immemorial, the Wirrayaraay tribe of the Gamilaraay lived here, caring for the land and harvesting the animals, fish, root crops, grains and fruits in a seasonal cycle. The identity of the Wirrayaraay derived from their spiritual relationship with the land’
2. Yilambu Wandagu dhaay dhimba milambaraay gaanhi.
In the 1830s European squatters began to send their servants into the district to establish cattle and sheep stations, occupying the land and using its grass and water resources to feed their stock.
3. Yilaa Mari Wanda bumalalanhi; balunhi burrulaa Mari gulbirr Wanda.
Conflict soon arose as the Europeans forced the Wirrayaraay off their ancestral lands, drove them away from creeks and waterholes and seized Aboriginal women. The Wirrayaraay retaliated by spearing stock and attacking the stations and their personnel. Revenge killings began.
At the end of the walk is the memorial rock, standing sentinel over the massacre site.