THE 175th anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre was remembered on Sunday when both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians gathered at the annual ceremony held at the Myall Creek Memorial.
In 1838, more than 170 years ago, 28 Aboriginal Elders, women and children were murdered by white stockmen at Myall Creek.
Now the descendants of both the Aboriginal people and the perpetrators of the crime have erected a monument at Myall Creek, and a commemoration ceremony is held there every June long weekend.
Co-chair of the Myall Creek Memorial Committee, John Brown, said the yearly memorial is important for ongoing reconciliation efforts.
“Myall Creek is representative of what happened right across the frontier,” Mr Brown said.
Member for the Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, said Myall Creek is especially significant because, for the first time, perpetrators of a crime against Aboriginal people were convicted and punished by the state.
“The stockmen who murdered the Aboriginal people were hanged,” Mr Marshall said.
Seven of the 12 men involved in the murders were hanged later that year, the first time white men were tried for the murder of Indigenous Australians.
“I would like to personally acknowledge the descendants of these people and the leaders from the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities have worked together to ensure that the events of the past are not forgotten,” Mr Marshall said.
“This commemoration at the memorial is an important contribution to reconciliation and healing. The Myall Creek Memorial is a perpetual reminder of Australia’s tragic history that should never be repeated.”