Cumbo GunnerahPrint Page Print this page

(Diane Watson)
(Diane Watson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Sandra Brown

The monument commemorates Aboriginal warrior, Cumbo Gunnerah who was buried adjacent this spot.

In the 1960s, the Gunnedah Historical Society erected a sign to mark the burial site of "The Red Chief". This sign still stands on the footpath near the corner of Abbott and Little Conadilly Streets. In 1984, a sculpture, designed by Dennis Adams in consultation with local Aborigines and the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service was erected to mark the burial site. It was opened on National Aborigines' Day, 14 September, and officially dedicated by one of the oldest members of the local Aboriginal community, John Lalor.

Buried probably in late 1700`s. Cumbo Gunnerah was the legendary warrior and wise leader of the Gunn-e-darr people of the Kamilaroi tribe. He was buried, it is thought, in the late 1700’s in a manner befitting an Aboriginal man of great importance, that is in a sitting position, backed by a tree carved with totemic designs in his honour. The stories of his unsurpassed bravery, achievements and adventures were handed down from generation to generation and his burial place was treated with great respect. Some two centuries later, European settlers dug up the remains of Cumbo Gunnerah and sent them, along with a slab of what was locally known as “The Blackfellow’s Tree”, to the Australian Museum in Sydney.


Address:35-37 Abbott Street, New South Wales Government Offices, Gunnedah, 2380
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.978959
Long: 150.257092
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Dennis Adams


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 14th September, 1984
Front Inscription

Red Kangaroo Memorial

Resting place of Cumbo Gunerah.

This relief was erected by the National Parks & Wildlife Services and the Aboriginal community of Gunnedah.

Dedicated and unveiled oOn National Aborigine Day 14th, Sept. 1984 by John Lalor member of the Kamilaroi Tribe

Sculptor: Dennis Adams

Back Inscription

Yilambu giwihr gayir
KAMBU GUNIRAH gir ginyi.
Ngihrngu mari ngihrma gayir Gaweh CANUHR.
Ngihrma binal wuraya, wahrunggul yiliyan ginyi.
Yirahla ganu wunda dawandah nahbu gayir

In times past there was an Aboriginal man called Cumbo Gunnerah

His people called him the Red Kangaroo.

He was a clever chief and a mighty fighter (this man from Gunnedah)

Later, the white people of this place called him the Red Chief.


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