Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February 6 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

Early in February the French fired on the Aboriginal people at Botany Bay.

1788 - The first female convicts graced Port Jackson with their presence...and of course rapes, riots and debauchery followed.
A violent thunderstorm that night sacrificed 6 sheep and a pig.

1829 - Broger, an Aboriginal man born at Boon-ga-ree—known in 1822-88 as Broughton Creek and later as Berry, on this day with his Aboriginal friend George Murphy took two sawyers, John Rivett and James Hicks, into the bush in Kangaroo Valley to show them some fine cedar. Here, Broger killed Rivett.
Sawyers of the district they had a bad reputation for their dealings with Aborigines. A few days before his death, Rivett had cheated Broger and Murphy in an exchange of flour for bush turkey eggs and Rivett had seduced Murphy's wife. Broger may have been obliged to assist Murphy in securing redress under Aboriginal law.
At his trial at Campbelltown on 20 August 1830 before Chief Justice (Sir) Francis Forbes, witnesses noted his claims that Rivett had attacked him first and he had acted in self-defence. However, he was not allowed to speak in his own defence. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. On 30 August Broger was publicly executed by Alexander Green.

1851 - Black Thursday bushfires roared all over Victoria, turning the day into night and roasting the air to 47 degrees C.

1885 - The Launceston Examiner today reported that ;
"Nichols, late sub-inspector of the Queensland police, who was arrested in connection with the recent
massacre of blacks at Irvinebank, has been discharged by the Herberton Bench, the evidence being insufficient to warrant a committal."

1893 - Rumours of the Parliamentary Mace disappearing in a Melbourne brothel were setting fire to the city so a Board of Inquiry was cobbled together to investigate the theft. (I've often wondered why Great Uncle Rupert won't let me clean his attic...).

1942 - Ray Raiwala became the first recruit to enlist in an Aboriginal guerrilla unit at Darwin on this day.

1976 - Patricia O'Shane celebrated becoming a fully-fledged barrister on this she was the first Aboriginal (and *gasp* a woman) to do so.

1984 - Today the coroner of WA found that Aboriginal youth , 17 year old John Pat had died of a 'closed head injury suffered during a disturbance in Padbury Street, Roebourne'.
On 28 September 1983 a brawl broke out between off-duty police officers and a group of Aborigines, including Pat, outside the Top Bar of the Victoria Hotel at Roebourne. Aboriginal witnesses later alleged that an officer kicked Pat in the head as he lay on the road. On-duty officers were called, arrested Pat and four other Aborigines, and took them to the police station, where Pat died that night.
The coroner also found that Pat had also suffered two broken ribs and a torn aorta.
 Four police officers and a police aide were charged with manslaughter; tried in the Supreme Court of Western Australia at Karratha in May 1984, they were acquitted by an all-White jury and reinstated to duty.
 No disciplinary action was taken against any police officer.

1986 - Aboriginal and Island Affairs in QLD was redesignated Community Services.

1991 - Smelling salts at the ready, boys !
Roma Mitchell, a WOMAN became the Governor of South Oz, the first FEMALE Governor of any Aussie state.

1995 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) report Recognition, Rights and Reform says constitutional reform is a priority. The report, which is endorsed by ATSIC at its 33rd meeting held in Canberra, says consultations across the country have found overwhelming support for the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the constitution.


  1. Overwhelming support, over a decade ago, and the recognition is still not there. Sigh.