Former TV host Sheridan Jobbins has accidentally uncovered evidence of a massacre on Dora Dora Station in the Upper Murray, Victoria in the 1830s.
Read more in Sarah Krieg’s story, ABC Goulburn/Murray, Thursday 5 October 2023: ‘Sheridan Jobbins was looking for a piece of land. What she found was an Indigenous massacre site’:
Sheridan Jobbins wrote up the story of her research, sending it to Aunty Edna Stewart and other Diramaalang Elders of the Wiradjuri people, who have since walked on Country near where, in 1839, 12 Wiradjuri men, women and children were shot in retaliation for attacks on employees, land and stock and the alleged killing of two stockmen at Thologolong Station in 1836.
Jobbins has also written an article about her research discoveries, “Skeletons in the Family Tree”, for the October 2023 issue of the Albury and District Historical Society’s Bulletin, that reveals evidence of the massacre of Wiradjuri people at Dora Dora near Talmalmo in 1839 led by her ancestor John Jobbins. Sheridan Jobbins’ article also tells of the Wiradjuri song about John Jobbins and his deeds included in JFH Mitchell’s Dictionary of the Woradgery Tongue, 1904. More than 100 years later, CA Smithwick wrote of Jobbins’ cruelty to First Nations’ people in issues of The Border Morning Mail (now The Border Mail) in 1936. John Henwood published these articles in 2003 in book form as CA Smithwick’s, Early History of the Upper Murray, edited by John Henwood and Margaret Swann.
The Finding Merriman website: https://findingmerriman.com.au/merriman/timeline/dora-dora-massacre/and the website’s entry on Elliot Heriot: https://findingmerriman.com.au/merriman/elliot-herriot/
tell more about the Dora Dora killings.
On 2 May 1891, at Bassen creek near Dora Dora Station was the scene of another famous incident when Booyal, a First Nations’ man from Queensland speared Polish man, Sovran Murseykavits [sic], in what ‘Protector’ Archibald Meston reported as being the the result a huge mis-understanding on the part of Mursezkvits [sic]. The pursuit and capture of the two Aboriginal men was given sensational media coverage at the time. For example, “The Dora Dora Blacks. The Chase Continued…”, appeared in the Brisbane Courier on Friday 16 December 1892, p.6: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/rendition/nla.news-article3552765.3.pdf?followup=7bcc83b38e8fc5839b2db80d04bc3e9a
Meston’s recounting of the event and subsequent two-year search for Booyal and his companion Thunimmberie, provides an example of how cultural and language differences between First Peoples and colonists, led to immense distrust and violence. Booyal was sentenced for life for spearing Sovran Murseykavits and Thunimmberie, to 15 years. Meston’s report of the incident appeared many years after the two men were sentenced: Daily Examiner, Grafton, New South Wales on 2 August 1923, p. 6: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/195557241#