Myall Creek Commemoration

June 7, 2012

The annual memorial commemoration ceremony for those who died in the Myall Creek massacre will be held on June 11. This public commemoration is held at the site of the massacre, west of Inverell on the Bingara-Delungra Road, commencing at 9.30 a.m. This year the meeting will be held on the Sunday, not Saturday, of the June long weekend.

The Myall Creek Memorial was erected in June 2000 by a group of Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people working together in an act of reconciliation. It was awarded the Judith Wright Prize for innovative reconciliation work in 2005.

In June 2008 Peter Garrett announced Myall Creek Memorial as part of the national heritage register. In November 2010 Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Paul Lynch announced Myall Creek Memorial as part of the NSW State Heritage Register.

The memorial commemorates the unprovoked massacre of twenty-eight Wirrayaraay women, children and old men by a group of stockmen in 1838. The story of the massacre, of those who fought to bring it to justice, and of the remarkable ongoing and growing grassroots reconciliation are told through the annual memorial ceremony.

Guest speaker this year is Dick Estens.  Dick Estens was born in Gilgandra and was brought up on a property close to the town. He was educated at All Saints College in Bathurst. After leaving school early he became an aircraft pilot. In 1981 Estens started farming cotton on a property near Moree.

In 1997, with the support of the Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers Association, Estens established the Aboriginal Employment Strategy with the goal of providing support for Aboriginal people in Moree who were looking to enter the job market.

One of the motivations behind the establishment of the AES was a recommendation from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody that employment promotion committees be established across the country. The Howard Government commissioned Estens to head the “Regional Telecommunications Inquiry” into the proposed sale of Telstra. In late 2002 he delivered what became known as the Estens Report to the government.

In 2004 Estens was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Estens was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2009.

9.30 Arrival and morning tea
9.45 Short AGM, with a focus on concept plans for the new educational/cultural centre
10.30 Start of ceremony
From 12.00
Lunch (can be purchased)
Brief contributions by invited guests

For further information or interviews please contact Ivan Roberts at (02) 6257 4600 or; Sue Blacklock (02) 6723 3279, Lyall Munro (02) 6752 5792, Graeme Cordiner (02) 9817 0288

Article courtesy of: The Friends of Myall Creek