Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this page contains material that is distressing but provides an accurate impression of how Aboriginals were treated in Western Queensland. New data reveals the attacks during the spread of pastoral settlement in Australia did not wane as the decades passed, instead they intensified, on an immense scale – creating lasting trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Settlement in the Western district in the year I commenced my surveys being so far apart the country was very wild. Immense camps of natives roamed at large; they had committed, and were still committing, some very foul murders of unprotected settlers and travellers so that as a precaution our survey party was necessarily well armed. I expended about 16 pounds in revolvers, guns and ammunition, which happily we never had to use in self defense, as at the sight of the weapons displayed on our saddles had the desired effect.
The natives had his rights; as we had taken their country from them without commensurate recompense and our lawless whites had wreaked violence and outrage upon them in some cases with wholesale iniquity.‘Building a Commonwealth – G. C. Watson
Nevertheless the natives had his rights; as we had taken their country from them without commensurate recompense and our lawless whites had wreaked violence and outrage upon them in some cases with wholesale iniquity. Not infrequently, when mobs of natives were driven in by the dry weather to fall back on their tribal waterholes for existence in fishing and bathing, the pastoral occupants would communicate with the police that the natives were gathering for violence and the police, who delighted in taking life, would disperse them with unmitigated slaughter.