Lest we forget the war against Indigenous Australians

The Freedom Fighters

Portrait of Maulboyheener by Thomas Bock between 1831 and 1835. It was published in James Fenton’s History of Tasmania Hobart [1884]

Maulboyheener was also known as Robert Smallboy, Jemmy, Timmy, Tinney Jimmy, Robert of Ben Lomond and Bob, and came from an inland Tasmanian tribe from the Ben Lomond highlands.

Portrait of Tunnerminnerwait by Thomas Bock between 1831 and 1835. It was published in James Fenton’s History of Tasmania Hobart [1884].

Tunnerminnerwait was born on Robbins Island in Tasmania in 1812, the son of Keeghernewboyheenner. He was also known as Peevay, Jack of Cape Grim and Tunninerpareway.

Dr Joseph Toscano writes on the commemoration of indigenous resistance and early Melbourne history and the need for a monument to the indigenous freedom fighters, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, who were the first judicial executions in Melbourne on January 20, 1842.

Any visit to Canberra isn't complete without a visit to the National War Memorial. The massive driveway that leads to the Memorial is dotted with monuments to the Australian men and women who fought and died in wars Australia has been involved in. Around the country nearly every suburb, every town and every rural hamlet in Australia has an avenue of honour or monument to commemorate those who fought, those who were wounded and those Australians who paid the ultimate price, fighting wars stretching from the Boxer Rebellion in China, 1898, to Afghanistan in 2010.

Nowhere in the National War Memorial, nowhere among the thousands of monuments erected to Australians, who in the majority of cases died fighting other people's wars for the glory of God, Queen and Country, is a mention made of those original Australians who paid the ultimate price for protecting their families, their people, their way of life and their lands.