Eastern Australia – settler massacres of Aboriginal people were widespread across the colonial frontier. Between 1794 and 1872, there are least 150 recorded massacres of Aboriginal people in Eastern Australia and six recorded massacres of colonists. It would appear that almost every Aboriginal clan experienced massacre.
How were the massacres carried out?
- Hunting parties of soldiers, settlers, mounted police and/or native police, between 6 to 40 men, averaging 8-10 men.
- Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land) 1804-1834: soldiers, police, colonists on foot; at night.
- Victoria (Port Phillip District) 1836-1859: mounted police, native police, settlers on horseback, night and day.
- New South Wales:
1794-1826 - soldiers, police, settlers on foot; night and day
1827-1872 - mounted police, native police, settlers on horseback; daylight
- Queensland, 1859-1872: native police, settlers on horseback.
Colonists: swords, pistols, muskets, bayonets, carbines, repeating rifles. There are 5 cases of poisoning in Victoria and 6 cases in NSW/Qld.
Aboriginal People: spears, waddies, hatchets.
The following figures relate to massacres of 6 or more people only and are subject to change as more information becomes available. Other factors affect the history of Aboriginal populations such as disease, loss of land, abduction of children, control of movement, and combined flow on affects to the community. Please read the Introduction to understand these figures. Note that borders of the colonies did not always match the present day states. In particular present day Queensland was part of NSW until 10 December 1859.
For recorded massacres between 1788 and 1872 in eastern colonies of Australia:
|Eastern Australia||Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)||Port Phillip District (Victoria)||New South Wales||Queensland (from 1859)|
|Est. Total Massacres||172||41||54||62||14|
|Est. Aboriginal people killed in massacres||3139||537||1054||1380||157|
|Est. Colonists killed in massacres||72||18||15||10||29|
|Est. Average Aboriginal people killed in a massacre of Aboriginal people||18.68||13.10||19.89||22.62||13.08|
|Est. Average Colonists killed in a massacre of Colonists||10.75||0||7.00||9.00||13.50|