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Mount Dispersion MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The plaque commemorates the Aborigines of the Murray River area shot by the Major Mitchell expedition at Mount Dispersion in 1836. The plaque was erected during Victoria's 150th celebration in 1984 -1985. 

On May 24 1836, Major Thomas Mitchell was on his third Australia Expedition exploring lands in New South Wales near Lake Benanee when he encountered a large group of Aborigines preparing for a celebration.

In May 1836, Major Mitchell after being followed for several days by Aborigines, armed his men (against New South Wales Government orders) and organised an unprovoked ambush of them.  The massacre actually took place over the course of several days. 

He wrote in a letter to Governor Bourke "on the morning of 27 May there were following us closely along the river with tumultuous shouting, and our own safety and further progress evidently depended on our attacking them forthwith. But it was difficult to come at such enemies hovering in our rear with lynx-eyed vigilance of savages. I succeeded however.. Attacked simultaneously by both parties the whole betook themselves to the river, my men pursuing them and shooting as many as they could, Numbers were shot swimming across the Murray, and some ever after they had reached the opposite shore as they descended they bank. Thus is in a short time the usual silence of the desert prevailed on the banks of the Murray , and we pursued our journey unmolested.".  Mitchell named the spot Mount Dispersion.  Source Project Gutenberg: Thomas Mitchell

While he was acquitted by an enquiry, the incident tarnished his reputation for the rest of his career.

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Location

Address:Evergreen Way , Bangerang Cultural Centre, Shepparton, 3630
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.355018
Long: 145.387814
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:Indigenous
Actual Event Start Date:27-May-1836
Actual Event End Date:27-May-1836

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1984 - 1985
Front Inscription

In memory of Aborigines of the Murray River area who died from gunfire on 27 May 1836 in an encounter with explorers from Sydney led by Major Thomas Mitchell, Government Surveyor-General, at Mount Dispersion between Robinvale and Mildura.

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