Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Remembering Our Indigenous Warriors; Aboriginal Heroes on the Frontier

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Remembering Our Indigenous Warriors; Aboriginal Heroes on the Frontier

Article excerpt

JANELLE

BROWN

Columnist

MOST Australians could name at least two or three well-known Native American warriors. Sitting Bull who defeated Custer at Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and Geronimo are all renowned in history for their bravery and military feats. But can you name any Aboriginal warriors?

The names Pemulwuy, Windradyne, Tarenorerer (aka Walyer) are not well known in Australia today but they are Aboriginal heroes and in Tarenorerer's case, a heroine of the Frontier Wars.

The Frontier Wars is the description given to the early resistance by Aboriginal people against the invading Europeans.

When describing the arrival of the British in Australia the word settlement is often used. This denotes a peaceful process of the British claiming Australia as their own. However, the reality was far different.

Aboriginal people never ceded sovereignty of Australia and many warriors fought long and hard to keep the British at bay.

Spears and nulla nullas though, were no match for the muskets of the invaders. This fact did not stop Aboriginal warriors from waging war that hindered the British for years.

Bidgigal man, Pemulwuy who was thought to be born around 1750 in the Botany Bay area, was one of the first resistance leaders. His campaign of resistance commenced two years after the arrival of the First Fleet. Given that his club foot was said to be caused by a deliberate injury, Pemulwuy was thought to be a "Clever Man" a term used to describe an Aboriginal person gifted with extraordinary and mystical powers.

Pemulwuy waged war around the Prospect, Parramatta, Toongabbie, Georges river and Hawkesbury river areas. He led over a 100 men in the "Battle of Parramatta" where fighting took place against government troops.

Known as a brave and brilliant military strategist, Pemulwuy was eventually shot and killed in 1802 . …

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