The frontier wars – best we forget.


I have posted many blogs about our refusal to acknowledge the frontier wars,  when we suffered the largest death toll in war in our history in relation to our population at the time. In the SMH on February 12, see link below, Tim Flannery draws our attention to the valour of 52 indigenous people who were killed near Casterton, Victoria, in the 1840s. The victors write history! These heroes have been largely expunged from our history. There were no rewards for those who were defending their homelands in the battle known as ‘Fighting Hills’. John Menadue


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Bruce Cameron

I repeat a comment made regarding one of John’s earlier posts on the Frontier Wars: “Dr Nelson has stated that ‘The [Australian War] Memorial exists to honour the service and sacrifice of all Australians deployed on military and peacekeeping operations on behalf of the nation’ (letter to me, 5 May 2014). The caveat that is omitted is: “except by indigenous Australians deployed on operations to defend their homeland against a colonial invader”. As a serviceman who been deployed overseas to defend his country, I tremble at the thought of defending my shore against an enemy with total superiority in firepower.… Read more »

tasi timor

John, if you haven’t already done so, have a read of this period piece heroic ballad about the slaughter of the indigenous people on Minderoo Station in the Pilbara, now owned by A.Forrest. The Battle of Minderoo.

‘Well shot bold Bob: that warrior his
earthly course had run
He’ll never throw another spear nor view
the setting sun’

And the intriguing end note –

‘Kelsh sad smile of resignation implement for conversion of blacks by his side invented by Perrot French Missionary capable of converting six at a time.’

Please change the date in the taster from 1940s to 1840s!