This post may be upsetting for some readers.
Today is the anniversary of what has become known as the Appin Massacre.
On 17 April 1816, Aboriginal men, women and children were murdered after Governor Lachlan Macquarie dispatched soldiers to ‘rid the land of troublesome blacks’.
The victims were rounded up and forced over a cliff. Others were shot as they attempted to flee. The bodies of victims were hung in trees as a warning to the Aboriginal community. This was a common practice of the time.
Fourteen people are officially recorded as being killed during the attack, however reports from the night indicate that the death toll is much higher. Those killed were from the Dharawal and Gandangara Peoples.
The massacre occurred as part of a coordinated effort by Governor Macquarie to round up Aboriginal People in the area following conflict between the local Aboriginal People and the settlers in the area. Three regiments were sent out and they searched the area with deadly intent.
Rounding up and murdering Aboriginal people was not rare as the Government of the day and the settlers sought land and control. The Appin Massacre is just one example of the atrocities committed against Aboriginal People. Innocent men, women and children were hunted along with those who were accused of crimes against the new Colony. It is a part of Australia’s history that is often forgotten and many Australians are not aware of these events, nor the lasting impact this treatment has had on Aboriginal communities. Awareness and a shared understanding is part of healing.
We lost people. We lost language. We lost culture. We lost.
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