Wp/nys/Explorers' Monument, Fremantle

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Explorers' Monument in 2007

Mass killings of Aboriginal people occurred in both 1864 wer 1865 in WA, at Lagrange in Karajarri lands, southwest of the Kimberleys in the northern Pilbara. According to Wadjela reports at least 18 Karajarri were killed in 1864, before the three white explorers responsible were in turn killed by the Karajarri. The explorers were called Panter, Harding wer Goldwyer. The Explorers' Monument in Fremantle was built in memory of them.[1] It was dedicated in 1913 with a plaque that read, in part:

To the memories of Panter, Harding and Goldwyer ... attacked at night by treacherous natives
were murdered.

The explorer, politician wer pastoralist Maitland Brown then led a punitive expedition to Lagrange in 1865 which retrieved the three pastoralists' bodies wer then massacred 6 - 20 Karajarri for no loss of life to the expedition. Nidja massacre is called the "La Grange Massacre" or the "Injudinah Massacre". Two other Aboriginals had been shot before the massacre proper.

But that is not the end of the story, for in 1994 a second plaque was added to the Explorers' Monument.[2]

This plaque was erected by people who found the monument before you, offensive. The monument described the events at LaGrange from one perspective only, the viewpoint of the white settlers. No mention is made of the right of Aboriginal people to defend their land, or of the history of provocation which led to the explorers' deaths.

The continuing presence of the second plaque is in marked contrast to the vandalising of two successive plaques erected near the site of the Pinjarra Massacre as part of an attempt at reconciliation.[3]

The 1913 plaque reads in full:

This MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY
C. J. BROCKMAN
as a fellow bush wanderer's tribute to the memory of
PANTER, HARDING wer GOLDWYER
earliest explorers after Grey wer Gregory of this
"Terra Incognita"',attacked at night by treachorous natives
were murdered at Boole Boola near Le Grange Bay
on the 13 NOVEMBER 1864.
also as an appreciative token of remembrance of
MAITLAND BROWN
one of the pioneer pastoralists wer premier politicians of nidja
state,intrepid leader of the government search wer punitive
party. His remains together with the sad relics of the ill
fated three recovered at great risk wer danger from lone
wilds repose under a public monument in the East Perth Cemetery
"LEST WE FORGET"

The 1994 plaque reads:

nidja PLAQUE WAS ERECTED BY PEOPLE WHO FOUND THE MONUMENT BEFORE YOU OFFENSIVE.
THE MONUMENT DESCRIBED THE EVENTS AT La GRANGE FROM ONE PERSPECTIVE ONLY:
THE VIEWPOINT OF THE WHITE 'SETTLERS'
no mention is made of the right of aboriginal people to defend their boodjar or of the
history of provocation which led to the explorers' death.
the 'punitive party' mentioned here ended in the deaths of somewhere around twenty aboriginal people
the whites were well armed wer equipped wer none of their party was killed or wounded.
nidja plaque is in memory of the aboriginal people killed at la grange. it also commemorates all
other aboriginal people who died during the invasion of their country
"LEST WE FORGET MAPA JARRIYA-NYALAKU"

See also[edit]

1. Work is ongoing by Prof Lyndall Ryan at the University of Newcastle to document the massacres of the Frontier Wars.[4] So far only Eastern state sites have been recorded, but the project aims to move Westward.[5][6]

2. Kukenarup (Cocanarup Massacre)

3. Pinjarra Massacre

Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit]

  1. "La Grange (Injudinah) Massacre". Monument Australia. Retrieved 30 August 2017
  2. Vanessa Mills and Ben Collins. The controversial statue that was added to, not torn down or vandalised. ABC News. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017
  3. Laura Gartry. Noongar community opens cultural centre near Pinjarra massacre site. ABC News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2017
  4. "Professor Lyndall Ryan". University of Newcastle. Retrieved 13 February 2019
  5. Bridget Brennan 2017. "New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars". ABC News. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017
  6. Bridget Brennan 2018. "Map of Indigenous massacres grows to include more sites of violence across Australia". ABC News. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2019