The annual Service of Commemoration for those who lost their lives at Myall Creek on 10th June 1838 was held on a very wet weekend in June.
On a bleak and cold Saturday, the Friends of Myall Creek Committee organised and held a cultural Sounds of Country concert, which was relocated at the last minute to Gwydir Oval. While significant rainfall made the site at Myall Creek unsuitable it did not stop over 400 people attending.
The concert was host to great entertainment from The Buddy Knox Band, Radical Son, Roger Knox and Euraba, Ngambaa Dhalaay Dancers, Tingha Nucoorilma Dancers and Gomeroi Dancers.
Paying their respect, more than 600 people attended the newly completed amphitheatre area of Myall Creek for the ceremony on Sunday, including descendants of the perpetrators.
Visitors were reminded of the atrocities that occurred and considered the steps towards reconciliation that have been taken thus far.
“They might be gone, but they are not forgotten”, said Elder, Sue Blacklock as she addressed the crowd. “There’s no more tears, because they are free; their spirits are free.”
Guest speaker and historian Professor Lyndall Ryan spoke of the fact that Myall Creek is one of the few examples in Australia where the perpetrators of such massacres were arrested and made depositions. Following two court cases there were convictions of seven men who were subsequently hanged.
Traditional song and dance was performed in the centre of the purpose-built amphitheatre before guests followed the winding path to the Memorial site.
The Committee, in collaboration with Council, was successful in obtaining a Federal Government grant of $30,000 to assist in the running of this year’s annual Myall Creek Memorial Ceremony and the hosting of the Sounds of Country concert at Gwydir Oval. The grant was made possible through the Bushfire Tourism Recovery Initiatives Program.