Angus McMillan ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Linda Barraclough

The monument commemorates the Angus McMillan Expedition which reached Port Albert on the 14th February 1841. 

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.

The Governor and party, accompanied by members of the historical memorials committee, will tour Gippsland from 4th to 9th April, unveiling memorials to the discoverers of Gippsland — Angus McMillan and Count Strezlecki. The first cairn to be unveiled will be at Benambra, on Monday, 4th April, at 11.30 a.m. At 11.16 a.m. the new council chambers and the memorial hall will be opened, and a tablet in the hall unveiled. After this the cairn will be unveiled. At 3 p.m. a cairn will be unveiled at Swift's Creek, and at Ensay at 4.15 p.m. On Tuesday, the 5th. cairns will be unveiled at Bruthen and Mossiface, 9.30 a.m. and 10.20 a.m. A tablet, will be unveiled in the Sarsfield school at 11.30 a.m., and a cairn on the Ambyne Hill, Lucknow, at 12.30 p.m. At 3 p.m. the Calula cairn will be unveiled. On Wednesday, the 6th, at 9.30 a.m., the new technical school at Sale will be opened, and a little later a cairn will be unveiled. Bundalaguah will be visited at 11 a.m., and Stratford at noon, cairns being unveiled at both places. Bushy Park, at 3 p.m., and Heyfield, at 4.30 p.m., will also have ceremonies, cairns having been erected. Thursday, the 7th, will see an unveiling at 9.30 a.m. at Rosedale: another at Tom's Cap at 11 a.m. The Port Albert cairn will be unveiled at 2.40 p.m., and Yarram at 3.30 p.m.. Oh Friday a commencement will be made at Traralgon at 9.30 a.m. with Koornalla at 11 .a.m., Mirboo North 2.30 p.m., Leongntha 4 p.m., and Korumburra 5.30 p.m.
Only one function will be held on Saturday, the 9th. when at 2 p.m. a cairn will be unveiled at Corinella, or Old Settlement Point.
Age (Melbourne), 5 March 1927.


Address:Tarraville Road & Yarram - Port Albert Road, Roundabout, Port Albert, 3971
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.665352
Long: 146.688471
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event Start Date:14-February-1841
Actual Event End Date:14-February-1841


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 7th April, 1927
Front Inscription
On 14th Feb. 1841 Angus McMillan explorer of Gippsland reached the Old Port about a mile west of this spot.
Source: MA,MED,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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