Each year hundreds of people from across the country gather on the Sunday of the June long weekend to commemorate the unprovoked massacre of at least 28 Wirrayaraay women, children and old men by a group of stockmen on Myall Creek Station in 1838.
The Myall Creek Memorial on the Bingara-Delungra Road near Bingara, 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 were included on the National Heritage Register and also received NSW state heritage listing in 2010.
This year, James Wilson-Miller from the Gringai Clan of the Wonnarua People will be the guest speaker.
James was born in Redfern and grew up in the Hunter Valley. For 19 years until his retirement he was curator of Koori History and Culture at the Powerhouse Museum.
An experienced educationalist, he has graduate and post-graduate qualifications from the Armidale College of Advanced Education, including a teaching diploma and Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies (Aboriginal Studies).
He was a school teacher in Armidale (1983) and a lecturer in the Department of Aboriginal and Multicultural Studies at the Armidale College of Advanced Education and University of New England from 1985 to 1995.
James is a respected Koori historian, researcher and author of the best-selling Koori: A Will to Win.
Formerly president of the Aboriginal Studies Association and Aboriginal Education Council of NSW, he was awarded the Centenary Federation Medal for his services to the community.
He was involved in early memorial activities commemorating the Myall Creek Massacre and worked with Len Payne, a Bingara resident, on the 150th anniversary of the massacre in 1988.
James has a long association with Armidale and surrounding districts.
He was a former chairperson of the Tingha Regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) Council, committee member of the Armidale Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), and secretary of the Narwan Aboriginal Rugby League Football Club.
James delivered the annual Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture in 2002.
Roger Knox, the 'Koori King of Country', and Gomeroi man, will also be present to share songs that honour his people along with the Inverell/Moree Dancers and the Gomeroi Dancers.
The annual memorial service is open to everyone. Those intending to participate are invited to gather at the Myall Creek Hall on Reserve Creek Road by 9am this Sunday, June 12 for morning tea. Lunch will be available for purchase after the ceremony.
Meanwhile, other activities across the weekend include Yarning about Truth Telling with James Wilson-Miller and Remembering Myall Creek in conversation with UNE academic and proud Gomeroi woman, Donna Moodie. These sessions are facilitated by the University of New England and will be hosted live on Friday between from 2pm until 4pm at Oorala Aboriginal Centre and live-streamed via Zoom. No registration required. RSVP for catering purposes to firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday afternoon, from 3-5pm, the 'Myall Creek Rocks the Roxy' community concert will be held in Bingara. The event will include performances by Junk Sculpture Junior, Roger Knox and the Inverell/Moree Dancers. For tickets, which cost $10, go to https://www.trybooking.com/BZONK or buy them directly from the Bingara Tourist Information Centre. Bookings are essential are there are no tickets at the door.
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