Site Name Murderers Flat
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Dhauwurd wurrung
Colony VIC
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -38.102,141.780,0
Date Between 1 Jan 1850 and 12 Jan 1855
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 6
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 6 unspecified F unspecified; Probable: M unspecified F unspecified; Possible: M unspecified F unspecified; Wounded: unspecified
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category
Attacker Details
Motive
Type Of Motive
Weapons Used Firearms
Notes
Narrative According to Ian Clark, this massacre is significant in that knowledge of it has survived through Aboriginal oral history. Reconstructing from these oral records, Clark believes that the incident occurred in the early 1850s. It took place at a site known to the Kerup gundidj (more commonly known as the Kerreupjmara) as Murderers Flat. Rose Donker has recounted what she knows of the massacre. "My grandmother was Hannah Mac Donald [later Lovett]. When she was small she walked with her brother Alfred and her mother from Macarthur to Condah Swamp. My grandmother was carried on her mother's back. They were looking for some place to live. They came to the Condah Swamp and there they found other Aboriginal people and families living there. There was a massacre there and they hid with their mother in the reeds until the fighting was over and then they headed off looking for somewhere safe. We were always told that Murderers Flat was where the fighting was. They were taken in and lived on the Condah Mission. I then understood they lived there as children, then as time went on they grew up there" (Donker 1985: 18). In Jo Sharrock's reminiscences of Lake Condah (see Savill 1976), he refers to "Harelip" Johnny Dutton, who claimed to have been one of the few survivors of the "Murdering Waterhole Massacre", as a small boy. He hid in the water among the reeds. This suggests this is a reference to the same massacre recorded by Donker.
Sources Savill 1972[?]; Donker 1985: 18; Cark ID 1995: 52.
Corroboration Rating **