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Moree's Gamilaraay people gather for day of mourning, marking the 182nd anniversary of the Waterloo Creek massacre

Just a few hours after revellers gathered to celebrate Australia Day in Moree's Banquet Hall, the Aboriginal community came together to mark a day that they believe should never be celebrated.

Not only does January 26 mark the arrival of the First Fleet and the beginning of colonisation in Australia, but for Moree's Aboriginal community it is also the anniversary of one of the worst massacres to take place on Gamilaraay land - the Waterloo Creek massacre, which saw as many as 500 Gamilaraay men, women and children slaughtered by mounted police.

"For a lot of us, it marks the day of our loss of ways," young leader Paul Spearim Jnr, who organised the Waterloo Creek anniversary march on Sunday, said.

"The loss of land and the loss of culture is a reflection on us today. We still feel the affects of our loss of land today. Since colonisation, we haven't received any benefits for our loss of land in any form."

Mr Spearim said January 26 will always be a day of mourning for his people, not a celebration.

"Celebrating today is a slap in the face," he said.

"Today, while everyone's celebrating the British arrival, as long as Australia Day is on this day, we'll call it our day of survival.

"We need a day we can all come together and celebrate.

"We're the only country under the UN that celebrates the day of colonisation; that's a shameful thing. All other countries celebrate their national day on the day of their country's liberation. Australia stands alone in celebrating its national day on its colonisation."

Mr Spearim, a direct descendant of the survivors of the Waterloo Creek massacre of 1838, organised the day of commemoration on Sunday, January 26, marking the 182nd anniversary of the massacre.

About 80 Aboriginal people, many also descendants of the Waterloo Creek massacre survivors, came together for a protest march down Moree's main street before gathering at the Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre to share stories. The commemoration continued into Kirkby Park where they held a corroboree.

Elder Lyall Munro Jnr spoke during the yarning circle at the Dhiiyaan Centre and said January 26 marks a sad day in Gamilaraay history.

"I don't think this is a day for us and I don't think we should be celebrating in any way, shape or form," he said.

"But it is a part of our history; we have a shady part of our history and a sad part of our history.

"Today we're commemorating Waterloo Creek."

Mr Munro shared the tragic story of Waterloo Creek with those at the Dhiiyaan Centre, describing the events leading up to that fateful day on January 26, when mounted police and white settlers pursued the Gamilaraay people for weeks before finally catching up with them at Waterloo Creek and tragically slaughtering them.

While reports of the death toll vary from the low tens up to the hundreds, Mr Munro estimates about 500 people were killed that day.

"It was bigger than any of the other massacres our people had been through," he said.

"Waterloo Creek is not talked about enough. Not enough reverence is given to our fallen people.

"This town has got to start waking up to itself like this country. This town has got to take responsibility and reconcile their stories with ours. The resistance of our people will live on. We won't back down."

Fellow elder and fifth generation descendant of Waterloo Creek survivors Polly Cutmore said it is vital that the events of January 26 be remembered well into the future, and looks forward to the day a memorial is finally established at the Waterloo Creek site.

"My people survived Waterloo Creek on this day and we're here because of them," she said.

"I'd like to see my people come together to remind them how important this day is to us and to the Moree community. We need to come back together and be strong."