Anzac Day is observed on 25 April every year and honours members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) who lost their lives in foreign conflicts. Originally inaugurated to mark the anniversary of Anzac troops entering the fray against the Ottomon Empire at Gallipoli in the First World War, the scope of this national day of remembrance has since been broadened out of respect for those killed during the Second World War and on subsequent peacekeeping missions around the globe. @JoeSommerlad
“I wept because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
Recently Anzac Day has rebranded itself to commemorate all soldiers in all wars which has caused a bit of controversy in Australia as there has been a growing movement to recognise Aboriginal people who died in the so-called ‘frontier wars’ of colonisation, but Australia doesn’t like to talk about that.
So for this Anzac Day make sure you share a story about the indigenous people of Australia and their fight against colonisation.
More than 200 years after the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove, white Australians are still struggling to come to terms with their colonial past. Long erased from official accounts, the clashes and massacres that took place on the frontier remain a contested area of history, often replaced by more palatable stories of rugged pioneers conquering an inhospitable land. @kathymarksoz
Certainly the stories of massacres of Indigenous Australians are everywhere in the archives of the major cultural institutions of Australia and Great Britain. The diaries, letters, journals and memoirs of colonial and postcolonial officials, troops, police, farmers, frontiersmen and women are replete with accounts of fights against – and massacres of – the “marauding blacks”. Early newspapers also offer remarkably detailed concurrent and retrospective accounts of frontier violence. Such stories are so often defined by a chilling, deeply disturbing candour, so detached are the killers from the humanity of their victims. Paul Daley The Guardian
A group of settlers on the Hawkesbury river, reportedly in reprisal for an attack on a settler and his servant and the theft of their clothes some days prior, armed themselves and killed seven or eight members of the Bediagal clan. The massacre occurred on a bend in the river at Cornwallis, about 4km from what is now Richmond. According to a 2011 book by the historian Peter Turbet, one of the sources cited by the University of Newcastle researchers, it was the largest massacre committed by settlers to date. Another seven or eight Bediagal were killed nine months later, just over 6km away on what is now a thoroughbred stud. Their murderers were two officers and 66 soldiers of the New South Wales Corps, dispatched by Captain William Paterson, who would later be promoted to colonel, serve as the lieutenant governor of NSW, be celebrated by history as an explorer, and have a river in the Hunter Valley named after him. According to a temporary account, Paterson ordered his men to “drive the natives to a distance; and, in the hope of striking terror, to erect gibbets in different places, whereon the bodies of all they might kill were to be hung”. @callapilla