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.

Major Mitchell took the preparations as a sign that the Aborigines were about to attack, so he made a pre-emptive strike. After an initial skirmish where several warriors were killed the Aborigines moved to the other side of the river. Major Mitchell again attacked the group on May 27, killing an additional 10 Aboriginal warriors. 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 eveidently 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.".

While he was acquitted by an enquiry, the incident tarnished his reputation for the rest of his career.  Mitchell said years later "I still look back on that eventful day with entire satisfaction". Mitchell wrote in his journal in 1838 expanding the incident to take account of the enquiry`s criticisms.


Address:Evergreen Way , Bangerang Cultural Centre, Shepparton, 3630
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.355018
Long: 145.387814
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


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


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.

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design