Australian Frontier Conflicts
Journal Articles

Listed below, by author, are some journal articles relating to conflict between colonists and First Nations peoples on the Australian frontier. This list is updated from time to time. Check the National Library of Australia’s Trove database at: for availability online and in hard copy. You can find more written resources on Australian frontier conflicts under Bibliography and BooksMany of the books listed include other journal articles not included below.

Anderson, Steven, ‘Punishment as pacification: The role of Indigenous executions on the South Australian frontier, 1836–1862,’ Aboriginal History, Volume 39, 2015:

Auty, Kate, ‘Patrick Bernard O’Leary and the Forrest River Massacres, Western Australia: examining “Wodgil” and the significance of 8 June 1926,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 28, 2004, pp. 122–155:

Banivanua Mar, Tracey, ‘Settler-colonial landscapes and narratives of possession,’ Arena Journal, no. 37/38, 2012, pp. [176]–198.
The paper refers to Kalkadoon/Mitakoodi, Queensland massacre history.

Barker, Bryce, ‘Massacre, Frontier Conflict and Australian Archaeology,’ Australian Archaeology, No. 64, 2007, pp. 9–14

Barrington, Robin, ‘Unravelling the Yamaji imaginings of Alexander Morton and Daisy Bates,’ Aboriginal History, Volume 39, 2015:

Barritt-Eyles, Lisa, University of Newcastle, ‘Gargoyles and silence: “Our story” at the Australian War Memorial,’ 18 March 2015:

Bohemia, Jack and William McGregor, A massacre on Christmas Creek Station,’ Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 16, 1992, Issue, 33, pp. 26–40

Burke, Heather, Bryce Barker, Lynley Wallis, Sarah Craig and Michelle Combo, ‘Betwixt and Between: Trauma, Survival and Aboriginal Troopers of the Queensland Native Mounted Police,’ Journal of Genocide Research, March 2020

Burke, Heather, Ray Kerkhove, Lynley A Wallis, Cathy Keys and Bryce Barker, ‘Nervous Nation: Fear, conflict and narratives of fortified domestic architecture on the Queensland frontier,’ Aboriginal History, 44, 2020

Clark, Ian D, Fred Cahir, Benjamin Wilkie, Dan Tout and Jidah Clark, ‘Aboriginal Use of Fire as a Weapon in Colonial Victoria: A Preliminary Analysis,’ Australian Historical Studies, 2022, pp. 1–16

Clark, Ian D, ‘The Convincing Ground Aboriginal massacre at Portland Bay, Victoria: fact or fiction?’, Aboriginal History, Vol. 35, 2011, pp. 79–109 at:,+2011/7171/Text/G04%20Clark.html, accessed 9 April 2015

Clements, Nick, ‘“Army of sufferers”: the experience of Tasmania’s black line,’ Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 37 No. 1 (March 2013), pp. 19–33

Clements, Nicholas, University of Tasmania, ‘Tasmania’s Black War: a tragic case of lest we remember?’, The Conversation, 24 April 2014:

Collins, Patrick J, ‘Richard, Frederick and Robert: Three Militant Walkers on the Maranoa Frontier,’ Queensland History Journal, Vol. 20, No.10, (May 2009),
pp. 457–519

Connor, Michael, ‘Convincing Ground: a history,’ Quadrant online, 23 March 2009:, accessed 9 April 2015
(An alternative view of the historical evidence relating to the Convincing Ground massacre).

Connors, Libby, ‘Witness to frontier violence: an Aboriginal boy before the Supreme Court,’ Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 42, No. 2 (June 2001), pp. 230–243. Abstract:, accessed 9 April 2015

Daley, Paul, ‘Restless Indigenous Remains,’ Meanjin, 8 September 2014:, accessed 8 September 2014

Debenham, Jennifer, ‘Truth Telling in the Digital Age: A Hunter Valley Massacre,’ History, December 2020, pp. 10–13, accessed on 27 March 2021. This article appears in History, the Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society, December 2020, Number 146

Finnane, Mark and Jonathan Richards, ‘“You’ll get nothing out of it”? The Inquest, Police and Aboriginal Deaths in Colonial Queensland,’ Australian Historical Studies No. 123, April 2004, pp. 84–105

Finnane, Mark and Jonathan Richards, ‘Aboriginal Violence and State response: Histories, Policies and Legacies in Queensland 1860–1940,’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 43(2), 2010, pp. 238–262–105

Finnane, Mark and Jonathan Richards, SW Griffith: a suitable case for indictment?,’ Australian Historical Studies, 54(3), 2023, pp. 307–404

Finnane, Mark and Jonathan Richards, Speculating about genocide: The Queensland frontier 1859–1897,’ Asia-Pacific Economic History Review, 64(1), 2024, pp. 34–51

Foster, Robert, Don’t mention the war: frontier violence and the language of concealment,’ History Australia, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 2009), pp. 68.1–68.15. Published online on 18 February 2016.

Gardner, Peter, ‘Some Notes on Tribal Warfare and An Event at Tambo Crossing,’ Gippsland Heritage Journal, No.19, (March 1996), pp. 49–51

Grant, Lachlan, ‘“The Fighting Gunditjmara”––Indigenous people have fought for country and for nation, from frontier wars to world wars,’ Wartime: Official Magazine of the Australian War Memorial, Issue 76, Spring 2016, pp. 18–24, download:

Green, Neville, ‘Dilemmas, dramas and damnation in contested history,’ Studies in Australian History, No. 23, 2010, pp. [203]–214. Reviews the evidence for the Forrest River massacre in Western Australia.

Grieves, Victoria, ‘Jamaica Australia historical connections and the Black diaspora in the Australian Pacific Region, “Maroons, Indigenous People and Indigeneity Part 2”’, Charles Town Maroon Council, 7th Annual International Maroon Conference, Charles Town, Portland, Jamaica, 2015, pp. 12–13

Guy, Sandy, ‘The Harmers Haven Murders,’ Traces: Uncovering the Past, Volume 2, 2018, pp. 16–19

Harman, Kristyn, University of Tasmania and Carolyn Philpott, University of Tasmania, ‘A Tasmanian Requiem is a musical reckoning, and a pathway to reconciliation,’ The Conversation, 24 April 2018:

Hodges, Flavia, ‘Language Planning and Placenaming in Australia,’ Current Issues in Language Planning, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2007, pp. 383–403

Hooper, Greg, Jonathan Richard and Judy Watson, ‘Mapping colonial massacres and frontier violence in Australia: “the names of places”,’ Cartographica, 55 (3), 2020, pp. 193–198. Available to download from

Kercher, Bruce, Bar History, ‘Australia on Trial,’ Bar News, Winter 2012, p. 78

Jobbins, Sheridan, ‘Skeletons in the Family Tree,‘ A&DHS Bulletin, No. 649, October 2023, pp. 2–7

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘A different mode of war? Aboriginal “guerilla tactics” in defining the “Black War” of Southern Queensland 1843–1855’. Paper presented at the AHA Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane July 2014. Copy available at:

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Barriers and Bastions: Fortified Frontiers and white and black tactics, paper presented at ‘Our Shared History: resistance and reconciliation,’ Central Queensland University seminar, Noosa, Queensland, 11 June 2015, available online from

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Frontier war defences of early Queensland,’ Queensland History Journal, Vol. 24, No. 7, November 2020, pp. 673–690

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Mapping Frontier War on the Sunshine Coast/Noosa Region: A report for the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group,’ December 2020

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Reconstructing the Battle of ‘Narawai (Moongalba),’ Queensland Review, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 2019, pp. 3–31

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Smoke signalling resistance: Aboriginal use of long distance communication during Australia’s frontier wars,’ Queensland Review, Vol. 28. Issue 1, 2021, pp. 1–24

Kerkhove, Ray, ‘Tribal alliances with broader agendas? Aboriginal resistance in southern Queensland’s “Black War”’, Cosmopolitan and Civil Societies, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2014, University of Technology, Sydney

Krichauff, Skye, ‘The murder of Melaityappa and how Judge Mann succeeded in making “the administration of justice palatable” to South Australian colonists in 1849,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 41, 2017, pp. 23–45

Laurie, Arthur, ‘The Black War in Queensland,’ read before the Meeting of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, 23 October 1958

Lendrum, SD, ‘The “Coorong Massacre”: Martial Law and the Aborigines at First Settlement,’ Adelaide Law Review, 6, 1977, pp. 26–43.
Link:, accessed 9 April 2015

Litster, Mirani and Lynley A Wallis, ‘Looking for the proverbial needle? The archaeology of Australian frontier massacres,’ Archaeology in Oceania, Vol. 46, No. 3, (October 2011), pp. 105–117.

Lydon, Jane, University of Western Australia, ‘Noble horses and “black monsters”: the politics of colonial compassion,’ The Conversation, 16 October 2017:

Lydon, Jane, ‘“no moral doubt …”: Aboriginal evidence and the Kangaroo Creek poisoning, 1847–1849,’ Aboriginal History, 20, 1996, pp. 151–175:

Mackenzie-Smith, John, ‘The Kilcoy poisonings revisited,’ Queensland History Journal, Vol. 20, No. 11, (August 2009), pp. 593–605. Availability:;dn=200909223;res=IELAPA
ISSN: 1836-5477. [cited 05 Jan 18].

Madley, Benjamin, ‘From Terror to Genocide: Britain’s Tasmanian Penal Colony and Australia’s History Wars,’ Journal of British Studies 47 (January 2008), pp. 77–106

Manera, Brad, Review of John Connor, The Australian frontier wars 1788–1838, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2002, Journal of the Australian War Memorial [ND]:, accessed 24 August 2016

McQueen, Humphrey, ‘The real battle for Australia: pioneering writing on the Frontier Wars (Parts I-III),’ Honest History, 2 September 2014:

Maxwell–Stewart, Hamish, ‘Competition and Conflict on The Forgotten Frontier Western Van Diemen’s Land 1822–33,’ History Australia, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 2009), pp. 66.1–66.20. Published online 18 February 2016.

Mear, Craig, ‘The origin of the smallpox outbreak in Sydney 1789,’ Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 94, Part 1, June 2008, pp. 1–22

Memmott, Paul and Jonathan Richards, ‘Where is the Aboriginal Act? Archibald Meston and the emergence of the Aboriginal Policy in Queensland,’ Memoirs of the Queensland Museum–Culture 12, 2021, pp. 123–146

Memmott, Paul, Queensland Museum, Jonathan Richards and Jessica Kane, ‘A Man of the ‘Wild’ Queensland Frontier: King Gida of the Kaurareg,’, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum–Culture 12, 2021, pp. 27–71

Milne, Edmund, ‘War on the Bogan frontier,’ The Lone Hand, v. 7, no. 7, 1 June 1917, pp. 339–341:, accessed on 27 June 2017

Moore, Clive, ‘Blackgin’s Leap’: A Window into Aboriginal-European Relations in the Pioneer Valley, Queensland,’ Aboriginal History, Volume Fourteen, Part 1, 1990, pp. 61–79:

Muecke, Stephen, Alan Rumsey and Banjo Wirrunmarra, ‘Pigeon the Outlaw: history as texts,’ Aboriginal History, Volume Nine, 1985, pp. 81–100

Nettelbeck, Amanda, ‘Writing and remembering frontier conflict: the rule of law in 1880s central Australia,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 28, 2004, pp. 190–206:, accessed 2 April 2017

Newbury, Paul, ‘My family connection to Aboriginal genocide,’ Eureka Street, Vol. 23 No. 8, 29 April 2013:, accessed 6 August 2016

Niewøjt, Lawrence, ‘The massacre of the Gadubanud at Aire River,’ Victorian Historical Journal, Vol. 81, No. 2 (November 2010), pp. 193–213.

Organ, Michael, ‘Secret Service: Governor Macquarie’s Aboriginal War of 1816,’ Proceedings of the National Conference of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Mittagong, 25–26 October 2014:

Pascoe, Robert, Victoria University and Gerardo Papalia, LaTrobe University, ‘Did Indigenous warriors influence the development of Australian rules football?’, The Conversation, 23 March 2017: 

Pennay, Bruce, ‘Nine People and a Police Hut at Bungambrawatha,’ Albury & District Historical Society Bulletin, June 2022, pp. 2–4. Article reports an archaeological survey of the site of the Albury Police Hut built on a Murray River crossing in 1838. The Albury Police Hut was one of a number built along the route from Sydney to Melbourne following the Faithfull Massacre near Benalla, Victoria in 1838.

Pisch, Anna, Australian National University, ‘Peta Clancy brings a hidden Victorian massacre to the surface with Undercurrent,’ The Conversation,
26 March 2019:

Read, Peter, ‘Murder, Revenge and Reconciliation on the North Eastern Frontier,’ History Australia, Vol, 4, No. 1, 2007, Monash University Press,
pp. 0.91–09.15:

Refshauge, WF, ‘The swivel gun massacre,’ Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 57, No. 1, (April 2010), pp. 40–44

Reynolds, Henry, ‘Australia was founded on a hypocrisy that haunts us to this day,’ The Conversation, 27 August 2018:

Reynolds, Henry, ‘Frontier Conflict and the War Memorial,’ Meanjin, Autumn 2019:

Richards, Jonathan, ‘The native police of Queensland,’ History Compass, 6 (4), 2008, pp. 1034–1036

Richards, Jonathan, ‘Native Police,’ Queensland Historical Atlas, 2010

Richards, Jonathan, Book Review Forgotten War, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 60(1), 2014, pp. 136–137

Richards, Jonathan, ‘What a howl there would be if some of our folk were so treated by an enemy: the evacuation of Aboriginal people from Cape Bedford Mission, 1942,’ Aboriginal History, 36, 2013, pp. 67–98

Richards, Jonathan, ‘Conflict, adaptation, transformation: Richard Broom and the practice of Aboriginal history,’ Australian Historical Studies, 50(3), 2019, pp. 382–383

Roberts, Amy, ‘The space of conflict: Aboriginal/European interactions and frontier violence on the Western Central Murray, South Australia, 1830–1841,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 40. 2016, pp. 145–179:
accessed 22 May 2021

Roberts, Amy, ‘An Archaeological Investigation of Local Aboriginal Responses to European Colonisation in the South Australian Riverland via an Assessment of Culturally Modified Trees,’ Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia, Volume 43, December 2019, pp. 33–70:
, accessed 12 May 2021

Roberts, Tony, ‘The brutal truth: what happened in the Gulf Country,’ The Monthly, (November 2009), pp. 15–17:, accessed 9 April 2015. Describes massacres in the Gulf Country of the Northern Territory.

Rogers, Thomas James, ‘William Murray and the Coniston Massacre–A returned soldier’s frontier crimes were probably not a result of his war service,’ Wartime, Issue 85, Summer 2019, pp. 36–40

Ryan, Lyndall, ‘List of multiple killings of Aborigines in Tasmania: 1804–1835,’ Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on: 5 March, 2008, accessed 07/05/2018:, ISSN 1961-9898

Ryan, Lyndall, ‘Massacre and the Black War in Tasmania 1823–34: a case study of the Meander River Region, June 1827,’ Journal of Genocide Research, 10 (4), December 2008, pp. 479–499

Ryan, Lyndall, ‘Settler massacres on the Port Phillip frontier, 1836–1851,’ Journal of Australian Studies, Vo. 34, No. 3 (September 2010), pp. 257–273. A description of the article is at:;jsessionid=
, accessed 9 April 2015

Ryan, Lyndall, ‘The Black Line in Van Diemen’s Land: success or failure?’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1 (March 2013), pp. 3–18, accessed 9 April 2015

Shiels, Julie, RMIT University, ‘Julie Gough’s “Tense Past” reminds us how the brutalities of colonial settlement are still felt today,’ The Conversation, 24 June 2018:

Smith, Pamela and Keryn Walshe, ‘Oral testimony of an Aboriginal massacre now supported by scientific evidence,’ The Conversation, 31 October 2017:

Stanley, Peter, University of New South Wales, ‘On Anzac Day, we remember the Great War but forget our first war,’ The Conversation, 25 April 2014:

Stevens, Leonie, ‘The Phenomenal Coolness of Tunnerminerwait,’ Victorian Historical Journal, Vol. 8, No.1, June 2010, pp. 18–40

Tedeschi, Mark, ‘Justice evaded, justice denied,’ Inside History, (May–June 2014) pp. 40–45. A re-examination of the trials of those responsible for the 1838 Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales. Part 1 in a two-part series.

Tedeschi, Mark, ‘We remember them,’ Inside History, (July–August 2014) pp. 46–51. Part 2 of a re-examination of the trial of those responsible for the 1838 Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales.

‘The History of the Native Mounted Police,’ (reprinted with the permission of the Queensland Police Department), Generation, Quarterly Journal of the Geneaological Society of Queensland Inc., Vol. 10, No. 1, September 1987, pp. 7–12

Uhr, Frank, ‘The Raid of the Aborigines: brief overview and background to the poem,’ Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Vol. 17, No. 12, (November 2001), pp. 559–561:;dn=200116747;res=IELAPA ISSN: 1447-1345. [cited 05 Jan 18].

Uhr, Frank, ‘September 12, 1843; The Battle of One Tree Hill–A turning point in the conquest of Moreton Bay,’ Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Vol. 18, No. 6, May 2003, pp. 241–255:;dn=200305667;res=IELAPA
ISSN: 1447-1345. [cited 05 Jan 18].

White, Jessica, ‘“Paper talk”, Testimony and Forgetting in South-West Western Australia,’ Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 17.1, 2017, pp. 1–13

White, Samuel and Ray Kerkhove, ‘Indigenous Australian laws of war: Makarrata, milwerangel and jinkarti,’ International Review of the Red Cross, 2021

Wilson, Bill and Justin O’Brien, ‘“To infuse an universal terror”: a reappraisal of the Coniston killings,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 27, 2003, pp. 59–78:

Wood, Rebecca, ‘Frontier violence and the Bush Legend: The Sydney Herald’s Response to the Myall Creek Massacre Trials and the Creation of Colonial Identity,’ History Australia, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 2009), pp. 67.1–67.19. Published online on 18 February 2016.


Compiled by Jane Morrison 2012–2024
Updated 27 May 2021, 8 November 2021, 21 January 2022, 2 May 2022, 1 June 2022, 5 August 2022, 9 November 2022, 4 January 2023, 20 July 2023, 11 September 2023, 4 October 2023, 19 March 2024, 5 April 2024.