Text of the Myall Creek Memorial Plaques
In Gamilaraay language, paraphrased in English
1.Giirr ngurrambaa, walaaybaa nhalay Wirrayaraaygu Gamilaraaygu.
From time immemorial, the Wirrayaraay tribe of the Gamilaraay lived here, caring for the land and harvesting the animals, fish, root crops, grains and fruits in a seasonal cycle. The identity of the Wirrayaraay derived from their spiritual relationship with the land’
2. Yilambu Wandagu dhaay dhimba milambaraay gaanhi.
In the 1830s European squatters began to send their servants into the district to establish cattle and sheep stations, occupying the land and using its grass and water resources to feed their stock.
3. Yilaa Mari Wanda bumalalanhi; balunhi burrulaa Mari gulbirr Wanda.
Conflict soon arose as the Europeans forced the Wirrayaraay off their ancestral lands, drove them away from creeks and waterholes and seized Aboriginal women. The Wirrayaraay retaliated by spearing stock and attacking the stations and their personnel. Revenge killings began.
4. Burrulaa Mari gandjibalu, bawurragu bumaay.
Towards the end of 1837 parties of European stockmen and station hands, encouraged by a punitive expedition of Mounted Police sent from Sydney, embarked on a bloody rampage throughout the region, hunting down and killing any Aboriginal people they could find. Hundreds of Aboriginal people were slain.
5. Wirray bumalalanhi gulbirr Mari Wanda; ganunga maliyaa ginyi.
In May 1838 a band of Wirrayaraay people took refuge from this onslaught on Myall Creek station below, at the invitation of one of the station hands. For the next few weeks they lived in peace around the station huts, and convivial relations were developed between them and the four-man staff.
6. 10 Djun 1838-ya burrulaa Wirrayaraay yinarr, gaay, wayama balunhi; giir bilaarrdhalibaa nhama mari.
On 10 June 1838, a gang of stockmen led by a squatter rode into Myall Creek Station and brutally murdered about twenty-eight unarmed women, children and old men. The younger Wirrayaraay men were away cutting bark on a neighbouring station.
7. Nhama gagil Wanda gaabamandu bumaay. Yilaa Wandagu burrulaa Mari bumaldanhi.
Eleven of the twelve men who carried out the massacre were arrested, tried and acquitted. In a second trial seven of them were found guilty and executed. The squatter involved was never brought to trial. This was the first time that white men had been executed for murdering Aboriginal people. However this did not end the massacres. They continued throughout the continent, often unreported, until the 1920s.
8. Ngiyani winangay ganunga
In memory of the Wirrayaraay people who were murdered on the slopes of this ridge in an unprovoked but premeditated act in the late afternoon of 10 June, 1838.
Erected on 10 June 2000 by a group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in an act of reconciliation, and in acknowledgement of the truth of our shared history.
We remember them.