Site NameFreshwater Creek, Gippsland
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupBrataualung
Present State/TerritoryVIC
Colony/State/Territory at the timePPD
Police DistrictGippsland
Latitude-38.48
Longitude147.016
DateBetween 15 Jul 1843 and 31 Jul 1843
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed25
Victims Killed NotesKilled: M F C; Probable: M F C; .
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsSettler(s), Stockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed NotesKilled: M F; Wounded: M F
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Double-barrelled Purdey(s)
NarrativeIn July 1843, Ronald Macalister, nephew of squatter Lachlan Macalister, was killed by Brataualang Aborigines, near Port Albert. According to Chief Protector of the Aborigines, G A Robinson, who visited the region in June 1844, 'he was murdered after some depraved white men had, in a fit of drunkenness, shot and killed some friendly natives'. (Robinson 1844, cited in Gardner 2001, pp.47-61). An avenging party of 20 horsemen, known as 'The Highland Brigade' was organised by Angus McMillan, Lachlan Macalister's former overseer, to look for the killer. The "Brigade" was 'sworn to secrecy'. After slaughtering about 75 at Warrigal Creek Waterhole and a further 25 at Warrigal Creek mouth, they then shot down another family group of 25 at Freshwater Creek, before moving on to Gammon Creek (Gardiner, 2001, p 61).
SourcesGardner 2001, p 47-61. See also: Pepper and de Araugo 1985, p 24; Cannon 1990, p 171; Shaw 1996, p 133; Bartrop 2004, p 199-205. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***