There is a growing number of videos, films, databases and podcasts about the frontier conflicts that occurred in the Australian colonies and after Federation in 1901. The video list below, in alphabetical order, is preliminary. Links to other videos are added to this page from time to time. For a list of books and other resources on Australian frontier conflicts, go to Resources in the main menu on the top of this page. Scroll down to the Bibliography,Books,Databases,Films, Journal Articles, Maps,Memorials and Monuments,Podcasts, andTimelines.
A Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s frontier killing times, Timothy Bottoms, 24 February 2016
Click on the arrow in the centre of the image below to watch the video. Timothy Bottoms has also written a book, Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s frontier killing times, published by Allen & Unwin in 2013.
YouTube summary of Australia on Trial:
Presented by historian Michael Cathcart, Australia on Trial is a thought-provoking three-part series recreating the historic trials that throw light on the Australia of colonial times. These high-profile and controversial court cases raised major issues of national identity at a time when Australia was evolving from the dominion of the British Empire into a more autonomous federated nation in the late 19th century. Each of the cases caused a sensation at the time and attracted enormous public interest. Each triggered social and political debate about subjects at the very heart of Australian society: democracy and justice, the identity and behaviour of Australia’s men, and attitudes towards women and Indigenous people–themes and concerns that are still relevant to modern-day Australia.
In June 1838, a group of roughneck stockmen led by a squatter, rode into the newly established Myall Creek station to ‘teach the blacks a lesson’. They hacked around 30 Aborigines to death. The killers had not calculated on two factors. The first was that a stockman named Anderson, who witnessed the crime, was determined to see his countrymen punished. The second was that the governor of New South Wales, George Gipps, shared Anderson’s horror of such brutality. Anderson was ready to testify. The government was determined to press the case. But the prosecutor did not obtain the conviction easily.
The trial was fought out as bitterly in the press as it was in the courtroom. But in the end, a white jury sent seven men to the gallows for the murder of tribal Aborigines.
A number of books have been written about the Myall Creek Massacre. See the Bibliography on this website for details. The 180th Anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre will be commemorated at the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial site, Bingara, New South Wales in June 2018. Details are on the News section this website (see the menu at the top of this page) and on the Facebook page connected to this website.
Australian Aboriginal Genocide: Ethnocide in the Outback: The Truth About Australia and Australian Aboriginals, Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp, 1 February 2008
Watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7eubc-Yk3M
Babe in the Reeds: a story of massacres and resilience, Lois Cook and Catherine Marciniak, ABC Open North Coast, 2014
In this short video, Lois Cook and her family share the story of their forebear, Bubba Cook, who survived a massacre, and what happened to the Nyanbul people of the New South Wales north coast. It is a brutal, often officially unrecorded, history of what occurred as the area was colonised. Based on oral history provided by family members and research conducted at the Ballina Library with the help of library staff, Lois Cook talks of massacres that happened in the Ballina area in the 19th century at locations such as East Ballina, Black Head, White’s Beach, South Ballina, Patchs Beach, Seven Mile Beach, Broadwater and Wardell. An updated version of Babe in the Reeds is available on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/448385775
Dispersed Fiona Foley, 2008, Badtjala people, Thoorgine (Fraser Island), Queensland, National Gallery of Australia. “Dispersed” is a euphemism used in the 19th and 20th centuries for the killing of Aboriginal people. Dr Fiona Foley’s video explains the historical background to the raising of frontier police forces and the subsequent massacres of First Peoples in Australia. https://nga.gov.au/on-demand/fiona-foley-dispersed/
1824 Martial Law Proclamation highlighted in Bathurst, Eleanor Gilbert, Enlightning Productions, 14 August 2018
It is six years until the bicentenary of the Proclamation of Martial Law against the Wiradjuri Nation at Bathurst, New South Wales. Dinawan Dyirriban (Bill Allen) has brought together the mainstream Bathurst community to begin planning for a bicentenary event at Bathurst in 2024. You can watch a video of this gathering on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/285111243
Frontier Wars Marches ANZAC Day, 25 April Since 2011, every 25 April, on Anzac Day (except in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic), a march has been held on Anzac Parade, Reid, Canberra, Australia to commemorate First Nations people who gave their lives in the defence of their homelands during the frontier period. Below is a selection of videos about the Frontier Wars marches.
Moving Truth: 6 Years of Anzac Day Frontier Wars/Conflicts Marches Independent filmmaker, Eleanor Gilbert of Enlightning Productions, has recorded the frontier wars marches over the years they have been held. You can view her video,Moving Truth, that documents the marches to 2015 at: https://vimeo.com/214091130
2016–Australia’s Killing Fields aka Frontier Wars Commemoration March Independent filmmaker, Eleanor Gilbert of Enlightning Productions recorded the 2016 march in which Rodney Kelly carried a photograph of his ancestor’s Gweagar Shield, believed to be the one at which Captain James Cook shot on 29 April 1770. Watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/165014043
Frontier Wars March 2017, Eleanor Gilbert, Enlightning Productions, 25 April 2017.
Click on the arrow at the bottom left of the image below to watch this video.
Help Bury Our Dead–Frontier Wars [March] 2018, Eleanor Gilbert, Enlightning Productions, 2018
Ghillar Michael Anderson explains the reasons behind the Frontier Wars Marches and how important it is that all Australians know about and understand the truth of our history. To watch this video, click on the arrow at the bottom left of the image below.
Frontier Wars 2019: We Need to Bury Our Dead, Eleanor Gilbert, Enlightning Productions, 2019.
Watch the video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/332126840
Frontier Wars March 2020: Cancelled owing to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Frontier Wars March 2021: 10th Remembrance March for the Unmarked Killing Fields, 25 April 2021: ‘Learn to Cry No More Forever’. Watch the video on Vimeo:https://vimeo.com/548683215
Ghillar: Are you ready for the truth? Ghillar Michael Anderson addresses NAIDOC 2019 themes–Voice, Treaty, Truth at Ballina Coast High School, New South Wales, Australia. Eleanor Gilbert, 2019. Watch the video at:https://vimeo.com/346706053
Ghillar: Truth-telling during NAIDOC–Flags and Treaties, Narromine, New South Wales, Australia, NAIDOC Day, 1 July 2019, Eleanor Gilbert, 2019. Watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/332126840
High Ground, High Ground Pictures, 2020. A fictional thriller set in the Northern Territory in the 1930s. Based on real events, The Sydney Morning Herald has described the film as ‘a classic Australian account of the damage done by rampant colonialism.’ Currently still playing in Australian cinemas. View a trailer here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9286908/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt
Jandamarra–Aboriginal Geronimo, Rebel Films, 12 March 2017. Jandamarra (1870–1897) was an Aboriginal warrior and leader of the Bunuba people from Western Australia. The Dictionary of Australian Biography has included an entry on him by Howard Pedersen in the Indigenous Australia collection at: https://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/jandamarra-8822
You can watch the documentary Jandamarra–Aboriginal Jeronimo on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4a2Ik5YvT0
Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky, Documentary, Tamarind Tree Pictures Pty Ltd, Roar Film Pty Ltd, 2020
Presenter, co-writer and slam poet Steven Oliver takes the audience on an incredible and scenic journey across Australia from the cliffs of Kurnell to the Torres Strait. As he travels the land interrogating Cook’s legacy, he poses the question – in 2020, does Australia have a blurred history of Cook? https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1773167683939/looky-looky-here-comes-cooky Available on SBS On Demand
Massacre Recollections: Elder Stories of the Frontier Wars in Far North Queensland, Tim Bottoms, 19 July 2019:
‘Massacre Recollection in Far North Queensland, Australia. Aboriginal Elders recount specific instances of frontier violence. The late Kenny Jimmy from Kowanyama, as well as Jack Muriata (Girramay), David Lawrence (Girramay) and Bessie Jerry, and Jirrbal Elder, Willie Masina. Also Dr Ernie Grant (Girramay) and Willie Brim (Buluwanydji), recounts indigenous people being shot and the use of poisoning as they were in the way of the invaders economic viability. It’s way past the time to acknowledged this shameful part of our history and the truth about the frontier, and later (not covered here) the after affects of Missions and Government Reserves where education was to Grade 4.’
This video is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rvYW5eaQZI&t=14s
You can see and read more of independent researcher Dr Tim Bottoms’s work on Cairns History at: https://cairnshistory.com.au/
Shadows on the Hill A wonderful example of music relating to Gumbaynggir history and a massacre that occurred on the colonial frontier near Grafton, New South Wales is Troy Cassar-Daley’s Shadows on the Hill. Live from the 2019 CMAA Golden Guitar Awards, video courtesy of ABC and CMAA Golden Guitar Awards on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWA6q3c-AZk Troy-Cassar Daley talks about what inspired him to write the song before he sings Shadows on the Hill. Watch the video on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Gpl8_UE0Y
Smallpox: Biological Warfare 1789 Onwards, Eleanor Gilbert, Enlightning Productions, 2017
The use of smallpox as a biological agent against Indigenous peoples is a controversial subject. Chris Warren talks about smallpox and how the disease broke out in the colony of New South Wales in 1789 and later. He discusses the various theories about how the disease entered New South Wales, affecting and decimating many Aboriginal people. Watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/213523350
The Kamilaroi, Matthew Duffy’saward-winningvideo, featured in Vanessa Hohnke’s story, ‘Kamilaroi documentary features Moree elder Polly Cutmore’, Moree Champion, 17 January 2020: https://www.moreechampion.com.au/story/6583779/our-stories-are-about-who-we-are-film-captures-kamilaroi-culture/. Duffy’s video covers aspects of the cultural traditions and history of the Kamilaroi people of northern New South Wales who strongly resisted European incursions. Colonists killed Aboriginal people on Kamilaroi lands in reprisals and clashes such as the Waterloo Creek Massacre (a series of violent engagements) and the killing of a young woman, who was driven over a cliff at Coolabindi. The video is available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/374084811
The Native Mounted Police–Frontier Conflict and the Old Native Mounted Police Showcase, 16 December 2019
This is a summary of the Frontier Conflict and the Native Mounted Police in Queensland public research database, available via https://frontierconflict.org/. This database contains archival, oral historical and archaeological (site and artefact level) data relating to the lives and activities of the Native Mounted Police in Qld from 1848 until 1904. Watch the video about the database: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AIqN_-1Dpk&feature=youtu.be
20th Anniversary Virtual Commemoration Ceremony, the Friends of Myall Creek, 6 June 2020. Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Myall Creek Memorial, dedicated in 2000 in memory of the 28 Wirrayaraay people murdered at Myall Creek on 10 June 1838. A virtual ceremony was held in 2020 because of the COVID 19 pandemic and travel restrictions. The Virtual Ceremony can be viewed here: https://myallcreek.org/2020/06/06/20th-anniversary-virtual-commemoration-ceremony/
Yaburara Flying Foam Massacre 150 Years On 2018 A video of the story of the Flying Foam Massacre that took place in the Pilbara, Western Australia, beginning in February 1868, of more than 100 Yaburara Aboriginal men, women and children. Ngaarda Media, YouTube video narrated by Ernie Dingo, uploaded 9 April 2018. A 150th Remembrance Day Commemoration will be held on in Murujuga National Park, Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia on Sunday 15 April 2018. Watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqIWWZRgZvU
Compiled by Jane Morrison 2016–2021
Updated 28 April 2021, 30 May 2021, 19 October 2021, 8–11 November 2021