Myall Creek, New South Wales

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Myall Creek
New South Wales
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
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Myall Creek
Coordinates 29°46′45″S150°42′52″E / 29.7792°S 150.7145°E / -29.7792; 150.7145 Coordinates: 29°46′45″S150°42′52″E / 29.7792°S 150.7145°E / -29.7792; 150.7145
Population38 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 2403
State electorate(s) Northern Tablelands
Federal Division(s)
Suburbs around Myall Creek:
Gineroi Delungra Delungra
Bingara Myall Creek Gum Flat
Whitlow Whitlow Copeton

Myall Creek is a locality split between the local government areas of Inverell Shire and the Gwydir Shire in New South Wales, Australia. [2] In the 2016 census, Myall Creek had a population of 38 people. [1]



By 1837 European settlers had pushed beyond the Peel and Namoi Rivers and taken up large tracts of land along the Gwydir River or the "Big River" as it was then known. Local Gamilaroi groups resisted the alienation of their traditional lands almost immediately. The dispersed nature of the settlers stations enabled the Gamilaroi to easily isolate and attack stockmen and their livestock. [3] In April 1836 two stockmen working for the Hall Brothers, were killed while forming a new station. In September and November of the following year two hutkeepers and two shepherds from the Bowman and Cobb stations were killed. [4] Crown Land Commissioner Alexander Paterson reported back to Sydney in the second half of 1837 that stockmen on the Loder station, which was the westernmost station on the Namoi, were so afraid of raids by the Gamilaroi that they had abandoned their livestock to roam unattended in the bush. [5] [6]

Liverpool Plains settlers demanded military protection against Aboriginal attacks. In response to their demands, Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Snodgrass, Acting Governor of New South Wales sent a large Mounted Police party north to enquire into and repress the aggressions complained of. The Mounted Police party, led by Major Nunn and composed of around twenty troopers reached Liverpool Plains in January 1838. What occurred after they arrived remains unclear, but at Waterloo Creek, 50 kilometres southwest of what is now Moree, the Mounted Police encountered a large party of Aboriginal people camped alongside the Creek. In the ensuing melee a number of Aboriginal people were shot in what became known as the Waterloo Creek massacre. The exact number of Aboriginal people killed in the melee is unknown but local squatters who visited site later, reported the number killed to be sixty or seventy. An eyewitness to the encounter testified that forty to fifty may have been killed. Rev Threlkeld in his mission report for 1838 stated that the number may have been as high as two or three hundred. [7] [6]

According to R. H. W. Reece in his book "Aborigines and Colonists," local tradition states that Nunn's party of Mounted Police was involved in at least one more large melee with local Aboriginal people before the party left the Plains. Major Nunn's Campaign (as it was known in the district) did not prevent further racial conflict. In March of that year two men working for Surveyor Finch were killed in the neighbouring district of New England, then in April a hutkeeper on the Gwydir was killed. In the following months stockmen from stations along the Gwydir River organised themselves into armed groups and scoured the country side in what is described by Reece as "a concerted campaign to get rid of all the Aborigines in the district." According to Reece this still known in local tradition as "The Bushwhack" or "The Drive". [8] The Myall Creek Massacre took place in June of that year, on Myall Creek Station near the Gwydir River. [6]

The twelve men responsible for the massacre included freed convicts and assigned convicts, led by John Fleming, the manager of the Mungie Bundie Station. The original party assembled at Bengari on a station owned by Archibald Bell before they set off and were joined by the remaining members somewhere along the Gwydir River. [9] After spending the day unsuccessfully pursuing Aborigines the group came to the Myall Creek Station. They discovered approximately 30 Aborigines belonging to the Gamilaroi and Wirrayaraay peoples on the station, rounded them up and tied them together. When the station hand, George Anderson asked what they intended to do with the Aborigines he was told they were taking them over the back of the range to frighten them. A few minutes later the Gamilaroi and Wirrayaraay were led off and massacred. Two days later the men returned to burn the bodies. [10] The impact of the massacre on the Gamilaroi and Wirrayaraay peoples was devastating. As one of the descendants whose great-great-great-grandfather survived the massacre states 'We didn't want to talk about it because of how dreadful it was I remember when we used to drive past that place. It just had a feeling about it that I can't explain'. [11] [6]

The Myall Creek massacre was marked by the unusual circumstance that one of the station hands who did not participate in the massacre, George Anderson, informed the station manager, William Hobbs, who reported the incident to the local magistrate. The reports by Anderson and Hobbs were not without danger, as the inquiry of magistrate Edward Day noted "[I] took George Anderson with [me], believing that [his] life would be in danger if he remained at Myall Creek". [12] [6]

In response to the charging of the eleven suspects settlers formed groups such as the "Black Association" to support the men charged with the murder. Papers such as the Sydney Herald protested against the trials. [13] Charging the perpetrators of the massacre also stimulated the activism of religious and humanitarian groups who called for the execution of the perpetrators. [14] These views were promoted through papers such as the Sydney Monitor and the Australian. [6]

Upon being found not guilty, seven of the men were re-arrested and tried for the murder of an Aboriginal male named Charley. [15] The second trial resulted in a guilty verdict and all seven men were sentenced to death. Governor Gipps later wrote that none of the seven attempted to deny their crime, though all stated they thought it extremely hard that white men should be put to death for killing blacks. [16] On 18 December 1838, after all legal objections were exhausted and the Executive Council rejected petitions for clemency, the sentences were carried out. [6]

Heritage listings

Myall Creek has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Related Research Articles

Gwydir River River in New South Wales, Australia

Gwydir River, a major inland perennial river of the Barwon catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Northern Tablelands, North West Slopes, and Orana districts of New South Wales, Australia.

Bingara, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Bingara is a small town on the Gwydir River in Murchison County in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. Bingara is currently the administrative centre for the Gwydir Shire that was created in 2003. Bingara is one of the few places in Australia where diamonds have been found. The Gwydir River being a main highlight of the town is a main catchment of the Murray-Darling System.

Waterloo Creek massacre

The Waterloo Creek massacre refers to a series of violent clashes between mounted police, civilian vigilantes and Indigenous Gamilaraay peoples, which occurred southwest of Moree, New South Wales, Australia, during December 1837 and January 1838. The events have been subject to much dispute, due to wildly conflicting accounts by various participants and in subsequent reports and historical analyses, about the nature and number of fatalities and the lawfulness of the actions. Interpretation of the events at Waterloo Creek was raised again during the controversial "history wars" which began in the 1990s in Australia.

Inverell Town in New South Wales, Australia

Inverell is a large town in northern New South Wales, Australia, situated on the Macintyre River, close to the Queensland border. It is also the centre of Inverell Shire. Inverell is located on the Gwydir Highway on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands. It has a temperate climate. In the 2016 census, the population of Inverell was 11,660 and the Inverell Shire population was 16,483.

Myall Creek massacre Killing of at least 28 Indigenous Australians in New South Wales

The Myall Creek massacre involved the killing of at least twenty-eight unarmed Indigenous Australians by twelve colonists on 10 June 1838 at the Myall Creek near the Gwydir River, in northern New South Wales. After two trials, seven of the twelve colonists were found guilty of murder and hanged. One—the leader and free settler John Fleming—evaded arrest and was never tried. Four were never retried following the not guilty verdict of the first trial.

George Gipps British colonial administrator

Major Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this period. Settlers at the time were not happy with his move towards responsible government, although contemporaries at the Colonial Office found him to be an able administrator.

Gwydir Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

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Pinjarra massacre

The Pinjarra massacre, also known as the Battle of Pinjarra, is an attack that occurred in 1834 at Pinjarra, Western Australia on an uncertain number of Binjareb Noongar people by a detachment of 25 soldiers, police and settlers led by Governor James Stirling. Stirling estimated the Binjareb present numbered "about 60 or 70" and John Roe, who also participated, at about 70–80, which roughly agree with an estimate of 70 by an unidentified eyewitness.

Delungra, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Delungra is a small town on the Gwydir Highway, 33 kilometres (21 mi) from Inverell and 43 kilometres (27 mi) from Bingara in Inverell Shire, New South Wales, Australia. At the 2016 census, Delungra and the surrounding area had a population of 647. The urban centre had a population of 285.

Henry Dangar

Henry Dangar was a surveyor and explorer of Australia in the early period of British colonisation. He became a successful pastoralist and businessman, and also served as a magistrate and politician. He was born on 18 November 1796 at St Neot, Cornwall, United Kingdom, and was the first of six brothers to emigrate as free settlers to New South Wales. From 1845 to 1851 Dangar was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council.

Bingara Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

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New South Wales Mounted Police

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Kenneth Snodgrass

Kenneth Snodgrass was a Scottish-born soldier and colonial administrator. He acted as lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land and governor of New South Wales for brief periods.

Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site

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.

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Oldholme is a heritage-listed residence at 12 Wallis Street, East Maitland, City of Maitland, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1835 to 1839. It is also known as Government Cottage, Denny Day's Cottage and Bonnie Doon. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Criminal activity in New South Wales, Australia is combated by the New South Wales Police Force and the New South Wales court system, while statistics about crime are managed by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Modern Australian states and cities, including New South Wales, have some of the lowest crime rates recorded globally with Australia ranked the 13th safest nation and Sydney ranked the 5th safest city globally. As of September 2018 the City of Sydney had the highest rate of violent crime per 100,000 people (1445.1), followed by City of Penrith (475.7) and City of Blacktown (495.1). Rural areas have comparatively high crime rates per 100,000 with rural shires such as Walgett Shire (1350.3) and Moree Plains Shire (1236.2) having some of the highest violent crime rates in the state. The overall NSW crime rate has been in steady decline for many years.


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Myall Creek". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 February 2019. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland . Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  3. Connor 2020:105
  4. Reece 1974:29
  5. Connor 2002:105
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01844. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  7. Connor 2002:110-111; Reece 1974:33
  8. Reece 1974: 34
  9. Elder 1988: 74-75
  10. Elder 1988:78
  11. Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2001
  12. Day as cited by Wannan 1962:203
  13. Barber 1993
  14. Rowley 1970:36-37
  15. (R v Kilmeister No. 2 -
  16. H.R.A Vol XIX:739



CC-BY-icon-80x15.png This Wikipedia article was originally based on Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site , entry number 01844 in the New South Wales State Heritage Register published by the State of New South Wales and Office of Environment and Heritage 2018 under CC-BY 4.0 licence , accessed on 2 June 2018. and Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site, Bingara Delungra Rd, Myall Creek via Bingara, NSW, Australia published by the Government of Australia and the Department of Environment and Energy under CC-BY 3.0 license, accessed on 16 July 2018.

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