In May 1805 the Sydney Gazette reported on a recent conflict that occurred between armed settlers and Aboriginal people. The conflict was waged on the western side of the Nepean/Hawkesbury River, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in late April. It was probably in the vicinity of Shaws Creek.
Less than two decades had passed since the first fleet of English ships had dropped anchor in the waters which these new arrivals named Port Jackson. Settlement had not as yet spread beyond the Blue Mountain barrier. Continue reading “Massacre at Shaws Creek”
The Myall Creek massacre took place on 10 June 1838, one hundred and eighty years ago. About thirty Aboriginal people, including women and children, were camped on their tribal lands in northern New South Wales. They were murdered by twelve stockmen and their bodies burnt.
It would be interesting to know how many convicts transported to Australia had any geographic knowledge of where they had been sent. Perhaps most would have had limited or no idea at all, except that the long sea voyage made it apparent that they were far from their homeland.
The belief that some convicts accepted about China being within reasonable reach of the penal settlement was therefore not as delusional as it may have seemed. The convicts travelled a large part of the journey to Australia below deck. This would surely have reduced their sense of distance and direction. Maps of the ‘great south land’ were rudimentary and in some cases based on conjecture.
Down through the years the Australian soldier became respected as a reliable fighter; a mate, when a mate meant the difference between life and death and, above all, the Australian soldier was considered to be a ‘larrikin’ who saluted but would not ‘dip his lid’ to no man. He was Aussie, he was Cobber, he was Bluey, he was Pongo, he was Curley and he was Digger. His progress has been documented in song.