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Angus McMillan ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page

16-February-2016
16-February-2016

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The monument commemorates the Angus McMillan Expedition.

At the unveiling of the Bulla memorial for Hume and Hovell,Charles Daley the Secretary of the Victorian Historical Society suggested that the idea be extended to other explorers and a committee was formed to mark out the routes of Charles Sturt, Thomas Mitchell, Angus McMillan, and Sir Edmund Paul de Strzelecki.

Eighteen cairns or tablets to McMillan were erected at Benambra (to Macfarlane, Pendergast, McKillop) Omeo, Swifts` Creek, Ensay, Bruthen, Mossiface, Sarsfield, Lucknow, Calula (2), Bushy Park, Stratford, Bundalaguah, Sale, Rosedale, Tom`s Gap, Yarram, Port Albert.

Public interest in Angus McMillan and Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki was initiated in a 1920`s campaign to recognise the European explorers in Victoria, and a chain of commemorative cairns was erected across the region. McMillan’s contribution to the region was also conferred in naming the Federal Electoral Division of McMillan in 1948, which includes original lands of the Gunai Kurnai in west and south Gippsland.

The view of McMillan as heroic explorer and pioneer was disrupted in the late 1970`s when historian Peter Gardner highlighted the extent of the frontier conflict in Gippsland, naming McMillan as a key figure. The attack on the Brataualung camped at Warrigal Creek following the murder of Ronald Macalister in 1843 was the foremost of several incidents that resulted in the loss of Gunai Kurnai lives. Historian Don Watson named McMillan as the leader of the ‘Highland Brigade’, a group of Gaelic-speaking Scotsmen who conducted reprisals against the Gunai Kurnai.  The extent of McMillan’s leadership of these conflicts has been contested although his own accounts indicate that he was involved.

McMillan was responsible for raising fears of a European woman held captive by the Gunai Kurnai, firstly in 1840 and again in 1846 - 47. Little was made of the earlier claim, but in 1846 with the European population of Port Phillip District expanding and frontier conflict a matter of public anxiety, McMillan’s reports sparked a heightened reaction to the missing ‘White Woman of Gippsland’. Two search parties travelled throughout Gippsland, bringing much disruption and more violent deaths to the Gunai Kurnai despite there being no firm evidence of a kidnapping.

Location

Address:1188 Swan Reach Road, Mossiface, 3885
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.732358
Long: 147.811219
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Exploration
Actual Event STart Date:14-January-1840
Actual Event End Date:14-January-1840

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 5th August, 1927
Front Inscription

Angus McMillan, the Pathfinder of Gippsland, passed here 14th Jan. 1840.

Unveiled 5th August 1927

Source: MA,MED,VMR,RHSV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Exploration
Exploration
Settlement
Settlement
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