Big crowd remembers Appin massacre

April 17, 2023
Remembering the Appin massacre at Cataract Dam. Still taken from a video by Tony Markham

Hundreds of people gathered at the Cataract Dam on April 16 to remember the 14 Dharrawal men, women and children killed in the Appin Massacre in 1816.

Soldiers, led by Captain James Wallis, killed at least this number of First Nations people under orders from New South Wales Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The event was organised by local reconciliation groups and councils.

Many told Green Left it was the biggest commemoration they had attended. Some spoke of their support for the Voice to Parliament as being a reason they had decided to come.

The plaque placed at the Cataract Dam site in 2009 states: “The massacre of men, women and children of the Dharawal Nation occurred near here on 17th April, 1816.

“Fourteen were counted this day, but the real number will never be known. We acknowledge the impact this had and continues to have on the Aboriginal people of this land.

“We are deeply sorry.

“We will remember them.

“Winga Myamly Reconciliation Group.

“Sponsored by Wollondilly Council.”

There is no mention of the Appin massacre on any statue of Governor Macquarie.

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