Benalla Heritage Festival -1838 and a ‘Benalla secret’: Seeking the truth about 

Benalla Victoria
All tickets
$10.00 - 10.00

  • 5 May 20243:00pm - 4:00pm

1838 and a ‘Benalla secret’: Seeking the truth about colonisation and Aboriginal resistance in north-east Victoria This presentation by members of the Benalla Aboriginal History Group will explore the historical story of Aboriginal life, colonisation and frontier conflict in Benalla.

In April 1838, a party of stockmen working for the Faithfull brothers were attacked by Aboriginal warriors on the banks of the Broken River in present-day Benalla. In the ensuing battle, eight stockmen and at least one Aboriginal man were killed. Colonial society described this incident as the ‘Faithfull massacre’, but ignored the killings of Aboriginal people by settlers across the region.

Many questions remain about the real character and causes of this incident: Was it an isolated event or part of a wider frontier war? Were Aboriginal people resisting the invasion of their lands? How did the settlers and colonial authorities respond?

In addressing these and other questions, the speakers will reveal some surprising and little-known local history and promote discussion about the role of historical “truth-telling” today.

Speakers: Nikki James – Yorta Yorta leader and Cultural Heritage Officer, Hamish McPherson – Historian and author ‘Original Rights’: Colonial invasion and Aboriginal resistance in Benalla and north-east Victoria.


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