Commemoration ceremony, Myall Creek Massacre Memorial, Bingara, New South Wales, Australia, 10 June 2017 Photo: Jane Morrison

WARNING: This website and links to other sources, contain images, names, or voices, of deceased people in text, etchings, photographs, film, audio recordings, news media, paintings and printed material.

Although there are some memorials to conflicts that took place on the Australian frontier and to the people who were involved in them, the majority of the people who took part and the places where confrontations, killings and massacres took place, are not recognised. Compared to the many war memorials across the country, dedicated to the fallen in wars in which Australians have participated overseas, the lack of memorials to frontier conflict is a very sad indictment of the level of knowledge, understanding and compassion of governments and Australians generally about, and for, the people who gave their lives on the Australian colonial frontier.

Types of memorials
While memorials are often statues or monuments, they can come in many different forms such as avenues, books, films, gardens, graves, paintings, plaques, poetry, roads, song or sites. Some memorials commemorate Aboriginal peoples who inhabited certain places before the arrival of colonists in 1788, but do not honour those who gave their lives in the defence of homelands from 1788 onwards. Examples of types of memorials follow.

Forest Refuge: A memorial to Aboriginal people who gave their lives in frontier conflicts around Buderim, Queensland is located in the Buderim Forest Nature Refuge. Links to information about this memorial can be found below under Queensland listings.

Multuggerah Way, Toowoomba is a viaduct named after the famed Aboriginal warrior who fought against and repelled colonists in the area in 1843. Links to information about this memorial can be found below under Queensland listings.

New South Wales
Memorials to Dave Sands: While legendary boxer, Dave Sands, was not a hero of the frontier wars period, he was a warrior of the boxing world, inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1988. There several different kinds of memorials to Dave Sands (1926–1952), born David Ritchie at Burnt Bridge Mission near Kempsey, New South Wales. The types of memorials to Dave Sands are:

You can read more about Dave Sands at: and in the Australian Dictionary of Biography at:

William Ferguson: Although also not an Aboriginal warrior on the colonial frontier in the sense that he fought in armed combat against colonists, Aboriginal politician and unionist, William (Bill) Ferguson (1882–1950), worked tirelessly for Aboriginal rights in New South Wales. He also championed the freedom of Aboriginal people from the oppression of the Aboriginal Protection Board from the 1900s until his death in 1950. Read more about him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography at: A William Ferguson Memorial Statue, erected at Dubbo, New South Wales, was unveiled on 6 May 2019: NITV Staff Writer, ‘A permanent memorial will honour a tireless campaigner for social justice for Indigenous Australians’, NITV News:

Monuments honouring explorers and colonists highly controversial
As holding Australia Day on 26 January has become a big issue, in some states, like New South Wales, statues honouring Europeans have become controversial also, even damaged by people who do not believe explorers like Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook and invading colonists should be honoured. Christoper Knaus and agencies tell more in their story, dated 26 August 2017, ‘”No pride in genocide”: vandals deface Cook statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park’, The Guardian online:

In Fremantle, Western Australia, back in 1994, Aboriginal people did not vandalise a highly offensive statue, but added a counter-memorial to it (see Counter-memorial, Fremantle under Western Australia below). While he has decried the vandalism of the Cook statue in Sydney, renowned journalist Stan Grant, among others, has also weighed into the argument, calling for the history of Cook to be corrected: ‘Correct Captain Cook history says Stan Grant’, NITV 22 August 2017. Read more:

The issue of honouring British explorers, like James Cook, and colonists, who from 1788, gradually dispossessed First Nations, continues to be very divisive, often because the majority of Australians know little or nothing about our history. How many know, for example, that First Peoples have been here for millennia–for at least 65,000 years, if not 80,000 years, according to archaeologists? (‘Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 80,000 years ago’, Helen Davidson and Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, 20 July 2017:

Captain Cook takes formal possession of New South Wales, 22 August 1770,
from the painting by JA Gilfellan, c. 1859, Wikimedia Commons

Too few Australians it seems, including politicians, know or even care about whether Australia is really a legitimate nation state under British and international law–there are many hints, for example in the Mabo 2 judgments, that it is not. You can read a lot more about this issue on the Sovereign Union website at:

Northern Territory
The Gurindji Walk-off at Wave Hill Station in 1966 came about not only because of poor wages and working conditions, but as a result of the killings, maltreatment and massacres of Aboriginal people by pastoralists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A book, Yijarni: true stories from Gurindji country, Erika Charola and Felicity Meakins eds, AIATSIS, 2016, tells  stories of these events in Aboriginal languages and in English. Read about the launch of the book in August 2016:

William Cooper: 
Influential activist and unionist William Cooper was a Yorta Yorta man born on the Murray River, Victoria in 1860. A memorial statue in the Queen’s Gardens, Shepparton, Victoria was dedicated to him on 27 March 2018, 77 years after his death. You can read more about William Cooper himself in Diane Barwick’s entry on him in the Dictionary of Australian Biography: and Bain Attwood’s book, William Cooper: An Aboriginal Life Story, The Miegunyah Press, 2021. One of Cooper’s many campaigns was against the government recruiting First Nations people to serve in forces for the British empire that had stolen Aboriginal lands.

Western Australia
Counter-memorial, Fremantle
In 1994, in a ‘counter-memorial’, First Peoples at Fremantle, Western Australia, added their point of view to a controversial, offensive ‘Explorers’ Monument’ that originally commemorated the leader of a punitive expedition at La Grange that killed up to 20 Aboriginal people. Read more about this story, ‘The controversial statue that was added to, not torn down or vandalised’ by Vanessa Mills and Ben Collins, ABC Kimberley, 29 August 2017:   

Lists of Memorials Relating to Australian Frontier Conflicts

Below are links to websites relating to memorials throughout Australian States and Territories, to some known conflicts between colonists and Australia’s First Peoples. This list, that was first created in 2015, is being expanded as more information becomes available.  Please let us know about any memorials or monuments, already existing or proposed, that are not included in the list below. 



Aboriginal Memorial plaque
Mount Ainslie near the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

This plaque commemorates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans of wars in which Australians have participated overseas. There is no national memorial at the Australian War Memorial to First Peoples who died in Australia’s colonial frontier conflicts. You can read more about this plaque and the annual commemorative ceremony for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans at:

For Our Country Memorial
Sculture Gardens, Australian War Memorial, Limestone and Fairbairn Avenues, Canberra, ACT

In 2018, the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT commissioned a memorial recognising and commemorating the military service and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their legacy. Designed by artist Daniel Boyd (Kudjala/Gangalu/Kuku Yalanji/Waka Waka/Gubbi Gubbi/Wangerriburra/Bandjalung) in collaboration with Edition Office architects, the memorial was dedicated by Dr Jackie Huggins (Bidjara/Birri Gubba Juru).

The Aboriginal Memorial (Poles Memorial)
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place
Parkes, ACT

More information:

Related resource: a tool kit, developed in 2021 by the National Indigenous Australians Agency and supported by its North Coast and New England teams, New South Wales”

National Indigenous Australians Agency, A Grave Responsibility to Honour Our Ancestors: A National Guide to Identify and Protect Unmarked Graves and Cemeteries, September 2021


Appin Massacre, Cataract Dam, NSW

Links here:

Battle of Richmond Hill monument
177 Grose Vale Road
St John of God Hospital
North Richmond, NSW

Links here:

Bluff Rock Massacre monument
New England Highway
Tenterfield, NSW

Links here:

Cameraygal People monument
Woodford Street
Woodford Bay
Longueville, NSW

Link here:

East Ballina Massacre site plaque and cross
Shelly Beach Road
East Ballina, NSW

Links here:

Richmond River Massacre–Massacres–East Ballina Massacre

Hospital Creek Massacre monument and site
Hospital Creek, Goodooga Road, 15 kms from
Brewarrina, NSW

State Library of New South Wales, Gather website, Connecting Aboriginal communities with collections and stories from the State Library of New South Wales:

Monument Australia website:

National Library of Australia’s Trove:


Mount Dispersion Massacre Site
Tapalin Mail Route Road
Between Mildura and Robinvale
Mount Dispersion, NSW

A cairn recording a violent incident between surveyor, Major Thomas Mitchell’s party and Aboriginal people in May 1836 is located on Tapalin Mail Route Road, Midway between Mildura and Robinvale, Mount Dispersion, New South Wales.

The New South Wales Government declared the actual site of the massacre, in which at least seven Aboriginal people were killed, as an Aboriginal Place on 27 April 2020 in the lead up to the 184th anniversary of the killings. News and details about the declaration are on the News page under Mount Dispersion recognised as a Declared Aboriginal Place, posted on 4 June 2020.

Myall Creek Massacre Memorial
Myall Creek, Delungra Road, 20 km north of
Bingara, NSW

Links here:

Reconciliation Plaque
Allyn River Road, Mount Razorback,
10.3 kms north-west of Gresford, NSW

This plaque honours Aboriginal and European people who gave their lives in Australian frontier conflicts.
Link here:

Windradyne’s Grave plaque

Brucedale, Suttor property
1361 Sofala Road
Bathurst, NSW

Links here:


Coniston Massacre monuments

Baxters Well
East of Willowra, NT

Link here:

Brooks Soak

Mount Denison Road
NW of Alice Springs, NT

Links here:

Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda & McColl memorial

Foyer, Supreme Court
9 Smith Street
Darwin, NT

Link here:

Stapleton & Franks Memorial

Barrow Creek Telegraph Station
Stuart Highway
Barrow Creek, NT

Links here:


Frontier Wars Installation
Beulah Community
Lindsay Road
Buderim, QLD


Brisbane Magistrates Court
Roma Street, Brisbane, QLD

Witnessing to Silence, a sculpture by Badtjala artist Dr Fiona Foley, represents the history of frontier conflict between colonists and First Nations peoples in Queensland. The installation, a first is a memorial to First Nations people massacred in Queensland during the colonial period.

This installation is also depicted in the cover photo of the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland’s publication, Aboriginal people in Queensland: a brief human rights history, 2017:

Hornet Bank
Fraser Family Memorial
Hornet Bank Road
Hornet Bank Station
Taroom, QLD

Links here:

Jackey Jackey Memorial
Bamaga Airport
Bamaga, QLD

A memorial to Galmarra (Jackey Jackey), companion to Edmund Kennedy on his disastrous 1848 expedition to find a possible site for a northern Queensland port. Link to more information on Monument Australia at:

Kalkadoon and Mitakoodi People memorial
Corella Creek
Barkly Highway
23 kilometres west of Cloncurry, QLD

Kalkadoon and Mitakoodi People memorial
Barkly Highway
23 kms west of Cloncurry Queensland
Photo: Eleanor Gilbert, 31 May 2018

Closeup of plaques showing damage from vandalism. Kalkadoon and Mitakoodi People memorial, Photo: Eleanor Gilbert, 31 May 2018

More information at:

See also Paul Daley’s article ‘As the toll of Australia’s brutality keeps climbing, truth telling is long overdue: The myth of benign, peaceful settlement persists today–even as historians reveal a far more sinister picture’, The Guardian, 4 March 2019, link on Kooriweb:

Kalkadoon/Kalkatunga Memorial
Battle Mountain (Mount Remarkable)
20 kms south-west of Kajabbi, QLD

Plaque image: 

About 200 First Nations people died in this battle with colonists in 1884. Former Secretary of the Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Dr Charles Nelson Perrurle Perkins AO (1936–2000), of Arrernte and Kalkadoon descent, and Kalkadoon Elder George Thorpe, opened the memorial in 1984. 

More information:
The Kalkadoon Native Title Aboriginal Corporation has more information on the Kalkadoon people and the 1884 battle:

Monument Australia:—kalkatunga-memorial

Mary Watson’s Monument
Charlotte Street
Cooktown, QLD

Monument Australia:

Queensland Heritage Register:

Multuggerah memorial plaque
Duggan Park, Leslie Street
Toowoomba, QLD

Monument Australia:

Multuggerah Way, Toowoomba

Image courtesy of Ray Kerkhove

Information about the campaign to name a Toowoomba viaduct Multuggerah Way can be found on the Toowoomba Social Justice Commission’s website. See page on The Friends of Multuggerah and The Battle of Meewah (One Tree Hill):

Bill Gould’s Lookout 
Tobruk Memorial Drive
Picnic Point
Toowoomba, QLD

Annual commemorations of the Battle of Meewah (One Tree Hill) have been held in Toowoomba since about 2017, excluding 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Watch the video of the 2020 Battle of Meewah commemoration ceremony on the Videos page). The 2021 ceremony, with the theme Righting the Wrongs and Truth Telling, was held on 13 September 2021 at Bill Gould’s Lookout, with views across to One Tree Hill (Table Mountain) where Multuggerah led his people against colonists from 12–13 September 1843. Read more about the 2021 ceremony:

Wills Massacre Cairn
Lake Maraboon, Cullin La Ringo Road
Springsure, QLD

Link here:


Frank Hawson memorial

Kali Grove, Hawson Place,
Port Lincoln, SA

Links here:

Maria Massacre monument

Maria Monument
Apex Park, East Terrace
Kingston SE, SA


Waterloo Bay, Elliston memorial

Little Bay Clifftop Drive
Waterloo Bay, Elliston, SA



Memorial plaque to Truganini, Bruny Island

Truganini is perhaps one of Australia’s most famous Aboriginal people, at one time believed to be the last Tasmanian. Bruny Island, one of the small islands off Tasmania, has a memorial plaque to her. Truganini, Tunnerminnerwait’s wife Planobeena, and Pyterruner, were tried in Melbourne, Victoria in late 1841 as accessories to the murders of two whalers at Cape Paterson, Victoria. They were found not guilty. Tasmanian warriors Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyhenner were condemned to death for the whalers’ murders and hanged in Melbourne early in the morning of 20 January 1842. In December 2013 Melbourne City Council voted unanimously to erect a memorial in Melbourne to the men, once seen as common criminals rather than as freedom fighters defending their land and the very existence of their culture and nations. In 2016 a memorial to Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyhenner was designed following consultations with Victorian and Tasmanian Aboriginal communities. One newspaper article summarises their story and how they were not allowed to give evidence in court. Read more:


Aboriginal Massacres memorial stone

Bank Street
Port Fairy, VIC

Links here:

Aboriginal Memorial

High Street
Orford, VIC
A memorial stone and plaque to Aboriginal people who lost their lives in the Orford area of Victoria. Link here:

Aborigines of Port Phillip monument

Information Centre, First Settlement Site
Port Nepean Road & Leggatt Way
Sorrento, VIC

Links here:

Battle of Yering monument

Yarra Flats Billabongs
Melba Highway
Yarra Glen, VIC


Dan ‘the Cook’ Dempsey memorial stone

Orbost, VIC


Faithfull Massacre memorial

Kent Street
Lake Benalla
Benalla, VIC


Konongwootong Quiet Place

Konongwootong Reservoir
Konongwootong, about 11 km north of Coleraine, VIC


Manna Gums Frontier Wars Memorial Avenue

Malmsbury–Daylesford Road
Daylesford, Victoria

The first of its kind in Australia, this Avenue of Honour was opened on 16 July 2021 at the conclusion of NAIDOC Week, the theme for which was “Heal Country”. The memorial provides an opportunity to honour the loss of lives, sacrifice and suffering of First Peoples during frontier conflicts in Australia. Healing Country and Healing People are inseparable. Acknowledgment of the suffering of Aboriginal people is a first step along the road to acceptance of Australia’s history and people working together for a better future for all.

Manna Gums memorial avenue sign, Hepburn Shire Council, Victoria


Massacre Hill memorial

5 kilometres west of Peterborough, VIC


Mount Dispersion Cairn

Mount Dispersion
Tapaulin Mail Route Road
Midway between Mildura and Robinvale, VIC


Mount Dispersion Plaque

Aboriginal Keeping Place Museum
Shepparton, VIC


Memorial to Maulboyhenner and Tunnerminnerwait

Cnr of Victoria and Franklin Streets
As mentioned above, the Melbourne City Council unanimously voted for a memorial to Tasmanians Maulboyhenner and Tunnerminnerwait. Opened in September 2016, the memorial is a first step in recognising Victoria’s brutal past. Read more at:

Wombeetch Puyuum grave and memorial to Aborigines

Camperdown Cemetery, Cemetery Road,
Camperdown, VIC


Butterabby Graves

Mingenew Road, 15km S of
Mullewa, WA


Chipper’s Leap monument

Padbury Road, Greenmount Hill
Greenmount, WA


Flying Foam Massacre monument

Burrup Peninsula
Dampier, WA


Injudinah Massacre plaque

Explorers Memorial
The Esplanade
Fremantle, WA


Kakenarup Memorial
15 kms from Ravensthorpe

Memorial to those who died around Cocanarup in the early years of colonisation.


Tara de Landgrafft, ‘Memorial launch prompts reconciliation between farming and Indigenous communities nittiest in regional Western Australia,’ ABC WA Country Hour, Friday 22 May 2015,

Michael Tobin grave
Canning Stock Route near Well 40,
Tobin Lake


Mistake Creek Massacre monument
Warmun (Turkey Creek), WA


Mowla Bluff Massacre monument

Geegully Creek
Mowla Bluff, WA


Peter Chidlow and Edward Jones memorial tablet

Gillet Road and Buckland Street
Northam, WA


Battle of Pinjarra Memorial Park

McLarty Road
Pinjarra, WA


Sturt Creek massacre site memorial

Kimberleys, Western Australia
Link here to story about the Sturt Creek massacre and the memorial descendants erected in 2011:

Yagan Memorial Park

West Swan Road and Great Northern Highway
Belhus, WA


Yagan Square, Perth, WA

Yagan Square that opened in Western Australia’s capital, Perth on 3 March 2018, is already being called ‘the heart of Perth’. A nine-metre tall statue of Yagan honours the famous resistance fighter who defended Noongar lands in the early days of the Swan River colony. The statue was created by Noongar artist, Tjyllyungoo Lance Chadd in collaboration with Trish Robinson and Stuart Green. The work is titled ‘Wirin’–the Noongar word for ‘spirit’ that represents the sacred eternal force of creative power that binds all life on Boodja (Mother Earth). Rangi Hirini’s story about Perth’s new Yagan Square cultural area was aired on NITV News on 22 February 2018, Read more at:

First compiled by Jane Morrison July–August 2015, updated 25 July 2016, 24 October 2016, 7 November 2017, February 2018, May 2018. Updated 15 January 2022, 11 March 2022, 15 April 2022