Updates and Changes
Since it began the Colonial Frontier Massacre website has been a work in progress with ongoing research resulting in changes to the information on the website. Beginning with frontier massacre sites of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and of Colonists in Eastern Australia to 1872, (Stage 1), sites in Central and Western Australia have since been added (Stage 2 and Stage 3). The next release, Stage 4, will be the final stage of the project.
From the day Stage 1 was launched in July 2017 people around Australia have assisted the project by using the contact form to provide more evidence, clues, information and corrections. This has proved an important way to involve the community in the truth telling process. After checking by the research team, the comments have contributed to our ongoing review of data and resulted in the addition, removal, changes and corrections to the naming, location and details of some sites, as we come to understand this history better - a history that in many cases was purposefully hidden and which is important to all Australians. The full extent of frontier massacres and the research required was not anticipated. As we are a small team working part time and as volunteers, checking and corrections can take a long time. We thank everyone who has helped.
While some frontier massacres are well documented and understood, many remain obscure. To ensure that all the information on the site is sufficiently reliable, the inclusion of a site is based on criteria described in the Introduction. Each site includes an indication of the degree of confidence the historians working on that site have in the available evidence, indicated by one to three asterisks. Because this is an important and much debated area, we have always shown the sources used for each site, and provided links to online sources wherever possible, so that anyone can access and judge the evidence for themselves.
There are some sites we cannot include because we do not yet have enough supporting information about them. We suspect there were more frontier massacres that we may never find out about.
Significant changes in each stage of the project are as follows:
Stage 1: 5 July 2017
Colonial Frontier Massacres in Eastern Australia, 1788-1872
172 frontier massacre sites listed.
Only sites in the Eastern Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, Van Diemen’s Land (TAS), Port Phillip District (VIC) to 1872 were included.
Some corrections were made after the release.
Stage 2: 27 July 2018
Colonial Frontier Massacres in Central and Eastern Australia, 1788-1930
250 frontier massacre sites.
Frontier massacre sites in South Australia and the Northern Territory were added, along with more sites in Eastern Australia up to 1930.
The Guardian Australia published an augmented version of the data in The Killing Times on 4/3/2019.
Stage 3: 18 November 2019
Colonial Frontier Massacres in Australia, 1788-1930
311 frontier massacre sites.
Frontier massacre sites in Western Australia were added along with more sites in Central and Eastern Australia. Frontier massacre sites across the whole of Australia up to 1930 were shown. The Guardian Australia updated The Killing Times on 18/11/2019.
Stage 3: Errata
Some urgent changes were made as 'errata' to Stage 3, ahead of the regular review of data and release of Stage 4.
Sites removed from the previous release:
- Waterloo Plains (Port Phillip District)
- Murdering Flat (Port Phillip District )
- Chimney Pots (Port Phillip District )
- Loddon Junction (Port Phillip District)
- Lake Bolac (Port Phillip District)
- Glen Helen (Northern Territory)
- Mt McMinn, Northern Territory (1) (Northern Territory)
These sites were removed for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Unreliable sources
- Confusion with another site
- New sources indicate that the incident probably did not take place
- Revision of naming and organising massacres that occurred as a series of connected events
Sites added since the release of Stage 3:
Significant changes since the release of Stage 3:
Changes to names of sites:
- 'Campaspe Plains' to 'Barfold Station, Campaspe Plains'
- 'Campaspe (2)' to 'Barnadown Station, Campaspe'
- 'Reservoir (1)' to 'Mt Mitchell Station'
- 'Murdering Flat 2' to 'Connell’s Ford'
- 'Tarrone (1)' to 'Tarrone Station, February 1842'
- 'Tarrone (2)' to 'Tarrone Station, October 1842'
- 'Wannon River' to 'Victoria Range'
- 'Tahara' to 'Tahara Station'
- 'Mustons' to 'Mustons Station'
- 'Murdering Gully' to 'Murdering Gully, Mt Emu Creek'
- 'Kilcoy Mass poisoning, near Marburg' to 'Kilcoy'
- 'Goanna Headland, Evans Head' to 'Dirawong / Goanna Headland, Evans Head'
- 'Perth' to 'Galup - Lake Monger'
Changes to details:
- 'Tarrone Station, October 1842', victims killed changed from 24 to 9.
- 'Murderers Flat', coordinates corrected from -38.102, 141.78 to -38.070,141.830.
- 'Murderers Flat', Colony corrected from 'VDL' to 'VIC’.
- 'Apsley, Western Wimmera', Colony corrected from 'VDL' to 'VIC’.
- 'Kilcoy', coordinates corrected from '-27.549,152.584' to '-26.884,152.584'.
- 'Galup - Lake Monger' coordinates corrected from '-31.818,116.01' to '-31.929,115.826'.
- 'Tahara Station’, dates corrected from 'Between 1840-01-01 and 1840-02-28' to 'Between 1840-12-01 and 1840-12-31'.
- 'Torres Strait - Pabaju Albany Island', corrected attackers and colonisers.
- 'Daly River and Mary River', corrected attackers and colonisers.
Updated narratives and sources to sites in the Port Phillip District (PPD), Victoria:
- Convincing Ground, Portland Bay
- Barfold Station, Campaspe Plains
- Darlington Station
- Mt Mitchell Station
- Maiden Hills
- Murdering Gully, Mt Emu Creek
- Tahara Station
- Fighting Hills
- Fighting Waterholes
- Mount Rouse
- Barnadown Station, Campaspe Plains
- Mustons Station
- Victoria Valley
- Connell's Ford
- Mount Sturgeon Station
- Tarrone Station, October 1842
- Barmah Lake
- Crawford River
- Mt Eccles
- Mt Napier
- Beveridge Island
- Murderers Flat