State government provides $25,000 for Myall Creek Massacre 20th anniversary commemoration

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin at the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial earlier this week with local school students, Aboriginal elders and member of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin at the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial earlier this week with local school students, Aboriginal elders and member of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial.

Next year's Myall Creek Massacre Memorial 20th anniversary commemoration is set to be bigger than ever, thanks to a $25,000 state government grant.

Over the past 20 years since the annual commemorations began, the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial has grown in size thanks to the work done by Friends of the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial group to develop education and awareness among the wider community.

"I have attended the annual memorial service on six occasions over recent years and noticed the rapidly-growing crowds attending, with visitors from far and wide making time to join the commemoration," Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said in a statement.

"It is pleasing that the 20th annual event next year will have additional financial support to meet that growing demand and ensure the history of this massacre and the message of hope and reconciliation is shared with as many people as possible."

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Mr Marshall and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin announced the $25,000 in funding during a visit to the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial earlier this week, when they were joined by local Aboriginal Elders and school students from Bingara, Warialda and Bundarra and members of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial committee.l.

"I am so pleased to provide this grant to continue the important work of the Myall Creek Memorial site in bringing together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to commemorate this significant event in our shared history," Mr Harwin said.

"Myall Creek marks a dark moment in our history and acknowledging this is one of the most significant acts of truth-telling we can participate in."

The one-off grant comes on the back of a $1.066 million announcement by Mr Marshall in March this year to complete stage two of the Education and Cultural Centre project at Myall Creek.

Stage one of the construction will be completed in time for next year's 20th anniversary commemorations to provide a performance and ceremonial space for the gathering.

When completed, the Myall Creek Education and Cultural Centre will enable the truth of the massacres of Australia's first peoples to continue to be told, and provide a keeping place for Aboriginal peoples' cultural heritage.

Each year the Friends of Myall Creek bring descendants of the survivors and perpetrators together to acknowledge the massacre of 28 Gomeroi women, children and old men in 1838 at Myall Creek by 12 white settlers.