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Angus McMillan ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page

Angus McMillan
Angus McMillan

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The monument commemorates the Angus McMillan Expedition which passed through the area in 1840. 

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.

A party, including Sir James Barrett, the under-secretary for Lands (Mr. H. O. Allan), and members of the Historical Society committee left Melbourne on Friday for Gippsland, where they will accompany the State Governor, who will unveil a series of cairns which have been erected to perpetuate the memory of the explorers Strzelecki and Angus McMillan, and to mark the routes of their chief explorations. The party will unveil several cairns each day, the itinerary to be followed being: Monday.— Omeo, Benambra, Swift's Creek, and Ensay. Tuesday.— Bruthen, Mossiface, Sarsfield, Lucknow, Calulu. Wednesday.— Sale ,Bundalaguah, Stratford, Bushy Park, Heyfield and Rosedale. Thursday.—Tom's Cap, Alberton, and Yarram. Friday.—Traralgon, Koornalla, Mirboo North and Leongatha, Saturday.—Korumburra and Corinella.
Gippsland Times (Vic), 4 April 1927.



 

Location

Address:Foster & York Streets, Sale, 3850
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.1115
Long: 147.068628
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Exploration
Approx. Event Start Date:1840
Approx. Event End Date:1840

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 6th April, 1927
Front Inscription

Explorer Of Gippsland
ANGUS McMILLAN
Passed This Way
      1840

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