‘Myall Creek Memorial Talk, Sunday 8 June 2014’, Honest History, 23 June 2014, updated
This item is relevant to the history of relations between Indigenous and White Australians but also to the way we have suppressed and distorted that history. The author notes the Myall Creek Massacre, unique among such events because the White perpetrators were punished, then goes on to recount other massacres, ‘dispersals’ and incidents between Indigenous Australians and White settlers.
Myall Creek, he says, ‘heralded a major change in the attitude of the frontiersmen: the killings continued, but the whites kept quiet about it. Thus began Australia’s “conspiracy of silence”.
It is essential as contemporary Australians that we acknowledge that we are not responsible for what happened on our colonial frontier, but we are responsible for not acknowledging what happened. If we do not, our integrity as a nation is flawed and we are shamed as a people for perpetuating a lie – “Lest We Forget”.