The Appin Massacre – 17 April 1816
Honouring the Dharawal People who were massacred on 17 April 1816
The Appin Massacre 200 years ago today was one of the earliest, officially sanctioned, mass killings of Indigenous People since white settlement 28 years earlier.
Governor Macquarie’s diary describing this reprisal makes shocking reading to us today, with benefit of hindsight and a more enlightened understanding.
That’s why I want to commend and thank you General David Hurley, Governor of New South Wales, and Mrs Linda Hurley, for being here today. I see your presence here today as a great symbol of healing the wrongs of the past and of showing respect and good faith not only towards the descendants of those massacred but also to the Aboriginal people today.
May we learn to respect the human dignity of each and every person of whatever race or culture because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
Let us pray:
Lord, as we gather here today to commemorate the massacre of Indigenous people 200 years ago, we pray and ask for the gifts of your Holy Spirit - wisdom, understanding, right judgement and courage - so that we may learn from this travesty of justice and tread the path of recognition of our Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters as equal in human dignity to each and every one of us.
We pray you, Lord, to touch our hearts so that we may become leaders in reconciliation, seeking the unity in Christ that acknowledges but also transcends all differences of culture, status or race.
We commit ourselves, Lord, to influence the minds and hearts of the people of Australia to achieve justice and harmony in our land and to uphold the dignity of the Aboriginal people. We commend to your Mercy, Lord, the souls of the victims and also perpetrators of this massacre. Through Christ Our Lord.
Most Rev Peter W Ingham DD
Bishop of Wollongong
Sunday 17 April 2016
Memorial Ceremony, Cataract Dam