Butchulla Warrior MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The monument commemorates the Butchulla men that who fought to defend their land during the Frontier Wars. The memorial pays tribute to the Butchulla lives lost during colonisation while also celebrating the survival of their culture against all odds.

The Frontier Wars refer to all the massacres, wars and instances of resistance beginning from the arrival of colonists in 1788. Officially the Wars are said to have ended in 1934 however many acts of violence and oppression against the indigenous community continued after this date.

The death toll resulting from the Frontier Wars is hard to know for certain, but it is estimated that between 2000 to 5000 colonists were killed, while the death toll for Indigenous people is unknown as it is so high. In Queensland alone it is estimated that 60,000 Indigenous people died. While the true death toll for Indigenous people across Australia is impossible to know for certain due to most of the instances being covered up or not reported. 

It is estimated that around 90% of the Indigenous population prior the arrival of colonists were killed during the wars. This is a result of both colonial violence and foreign illnesses the colonists brought with them such as influenza, measles, tuberculosis and smallpox.

A memorial recognising traditional owners who defended their land during colonisation has been unveiled in Maryborough .​

The Butchulla people were the original inhabitants of the Fraser Coast region, and it has been a long-time passion for Butchulla elder Glen Miller (Uncle Glen) to have a memorial that pays tribute to the Butchulla lives lost during colonisation while also celebrating the survival of their culture against all odds. To design the memorial, Uncle Glen received photos of Butchulla shields from the University of Queensland's Anthropology Museum, which he used as a guide to create replicas of the shields from local cabbage palm trees. Uncle Glen took the replicas to a local gun club, where they were fired upon with black powder weapons to achieve the effect of damaged shields. Afterwards, the shields were used as moulds at Olds Engineering to create the castings.

The goal of the sculpture is to show the end result of the unequal match between spear and musket, defender and intruder and asks the observer to imagine what must have happened when Butchulla men threw all of their spears and stood there waiting for them to be thrown back – but instead were cut down by musket balls.

The three shields commemorate the three Butchulla lores; What is good for the land comes first; Do not touch or take anything that does not belong to you; and If you have plenty, you must share.

This monument is believed to be the first of its kind. It provides an opportunity to connect with and better understand the Butchulla community, guiding us on the pathway to reconciliation.
Fraser Coast Regional Council, 22 April 2023. 




Address:Bazaar & Sussex Streets, Queens Park, Maryborough, 4650
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.536932
Long: 152.704801
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Designer:(Uncle) Glen Miller


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 22nd April, 2023
Front Inscription



Left Side Inscription



Right Side Inscription



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au