By Michael Doran
The Warrigal Creek Massacre, a documentary exploring the history of colonisation in Gippsland in the 1800s, is screening at the Memo in Healesville on Wednesday 27 February at 6:45pm.
This special screening is being hosted by the Healesville Local Aboriginal Network (LAN), Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association (HICSA), Yarra Ranges Council and Hearth Galleries.
The documentary examines a charge led by explorer Angus McMillan, who in 1843 set out with his Highland Brigade to kill as many Gunai Kurnai people he could. Between 60 and 150 people were killed in the mass slaughter when about 30 people sought revenge for the murder of Port Albert squatter Ronald Macalister.
Healesville LAN member, Merilyn Duff of Healesville, is excited about the opportunity to share a candid look at Australia’s history with the community and sees truth telling as an important part of reconciliation.
“Aboriginal Australia has much to offer non-Aboriginal Australia; our connection to Country, each other and the other creatures we share the planet with. It’s kept us vibrant and live for over 3,000 generations,” she said.
“The coming out of stories like this provides us an opportunity to build a true relationship with fellow Australians. We are ready to cry, laugh and move forward together. Please join us on this pivotal night.”
Co-filmmaker Andrew Dodd, a Swinburne University academic, said “Gippsland was a lawless state at that time. Warrigal Creek was a very large massacre and the fact it isn’t well known makes it all the more surprising.”
The event will include a welcome to country, a smoking ceremony and a panel discussion unpacking the themes of the documentary and the ongoing impact of the massacre today.
The discussion panel will include co-filmmaker Lisa Gye, anthropologist and psychologist Peg LeVine and Healesville local Andrew Peters.
Adult tickets are $14.50 and concession $12.50 and bookings are available on 1300 368 333 or culturetracks.info