Thank you for your ongoing interest in the Myall Creek Memorial. I apologise for the delay in this report on the 2021 Myall Creek Gathering and concert on the June long weekend and the progress of the building works at the Myall Creek Memorial precinct.
The NSW Government provided $1.3 million for the establishment of Stage 2 of the memorial project consisting of visitor amenities and a cultural performance space. Gwydir Shire Council has provided parking and the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial raised some money towards creating an Indigenous bush garden. The latter was beyond the scope of volunteers alone and we require more funds to meet the cost of establishing the garden and its irrigation system. If you are able to assist us with a donation please visit www.myallcreek.org
The Sounds of Country Community Concert on 12 June was planned to be a celebration of the completion of the cultural performance space at Myall Creek. Unfortunately, an untimely deluge turned the dance circle into a lake and the concert had to be moved to Bingara Oval. However, the concert was a great success despite cold, wind and some rain. Musicians included Gamilaroi man, Roger Knox (aka the Koori King of Country) and his band Euraba who opened, followed by Aboriginal-Tongan singer-guitarist Radical son with his reggae and hiphop and finally the Buddy Knox Blues Band. The music was interspersed with traditional dance and song presented by the Ngambaa Dhalaay Dancers, the Tingha Nucoorilma Dancers and the Tamworth-based Gomeroi Dancers.
Fortunately, by Sunday 13 June the dance circle had dried out sufficiently for the memorial gathering to be held at the Myall Creek Stage 2 precinct. MC for the event was Keith Munro, co-chairperson of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial and grandson of the late Lyall Munro who was remembered as one of the main people who worked for years to make the memorial and annual commemoration happen. The late Mr Munro’s sister, Aunty Sue Blacklock, welcomed everyone to country and spoke inspiringly. The Ngambaa Dhalaay Dancers and the Tingha Nucoorilma Dancers also welcomed everyone.
We were very fortunate to have guest speaker, Professor Lyndall Ryan, step in when Professor Henry Reynolds was unable to travel from Tasmania. Professor Ryan and her colleagues have created and are continually updating an interactive map of over 350 Australian Colonial Frontier Massacres from 1788-1930 which can be viewed at https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/map.php and so her words about the importance of the Myall Creek Memorial for all Australians were particularly pertinent. The speeches were followed by a smoking ceremony and walk down the memorial pathway to take part in the usual ceremony at the main memorial rock.
We apologise for being unable to confirm arrangements until the last minute as everything depended on the weather. The memorial hall was not available because the black soil was too boggy to allow vehicle parking there. This meant the planned lunch could not be provided by the CWA, the Thoughts and Dreams Art, Writing, Song and Dance Competition entries could not be exhibited and the awards could not be presented in person. However, the gathering at the memorial precinct was well attended considering the last minute changes and on road parking was at full capacity. The Friends of Myall Creek Memorial Annual General Meeting was held back in Bingara at the Living Classroom as had been previously advised.
We also wish to thank Professor Henry Reynolds for presenting a webinar on the frontier wars through the University of New England on Friday 11 June in lieu of the planned symposium there in person.
We hope that on Sunday 12 June 2022 we can return to the usual format of a gathering at the Memorial Hall followed by a walk up the hill to the memorial precinct for the commemoration ceremony.
Friends of Myall Creek Memorial Inc.