A Month of Murder in the Hunter Valley – Wonnarua People and the Ravensworth Homestead

This work is conducted in memory and respectfully honours the First Australian People, the Aboriginal People of this land.

A Month of Murder in the Hunter Valley Video Series

A Month of Murder in the Hunter Valley is a four part video series presenting the Wonnarua People’s stories relating to the Ravensworth Homestead in the Hunter Region, and its purported use as a staging post for atrocities against the First Nations people in the area.

Aboriginal people are now voicing their concern at a plan, by the Glencore Mine, to relocate the Ravensworth homestead to another location.

They wish to share their stories, transmitted through the generations, to the wider community.

Mr Shoebridge MLC (Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council) is supporting the Plains Clan of the Wonnarua People who have lodged a Section 10 application to protect the land from destruction by the proposed open cut mine under the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.

The films feature interviews with archaeologists and traditional owners.

Scott Franks, Archaeologist and Wonnarua Clans Member

Historical Background

In August 1826, 195 years ago, 14 Mounted Police attacked a camp of Wonnarua people in retaliation for a raid on a colonial property.

At least 18 Aboriginal men, women and children were killed, whilst two were captured.

Media reports at the time celebrated these killings and called for further revenge attacks against First Nations people.

All four videos have now been released, to coincide with the these events 195 years ago, so we can listen to what First Nations people have to say.

The video series can be viewed below.

These videos contain images and descriptions that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

1 August 2021:
The execution of ‘Jacky Jacky’ and the following acquittal of Lieutenant Lowe

12 August 2021:
The capture and execution of up to 7 Aboriginal men by the Mounted Police

28 August 2021:
Dozens of Mounted Police are sent by a Magistrate
to hunt for Aboriginal men believed responsible for a retaliatory attack on a farm

1 September:
Mounted police massacre 18 Wonnarua people at a campsite

Webinar held Monday 11 October 2021, featuring David Shoebridge MLC, with Scott Franks, sharing with us the fight to protect his country, Aish Cowgill for talking about what it was to read these historical records of murders of First Nations people and Bill Code, film maker for working out how to tell these important stories on such tight deadlines and budget.

Please join the campaign: share the video and sign the petition.

For more information consult the Colonial Massacres Map:

More on the history of the Ravensworth Homestead:

4 thoughts on “A Month of Murder in the Hunter Valley – Wonnarua People and the Ravensworth Homestead

  1. As a descendant of “pioneer” colonists I would like to contact people who can represent the ancestors who never ceded sovereignty in the area: the original inhabitants.
    I aim to find a creative way to acknowledge indigenous presence and land rights in my family’s National trust heritage site. I seek to honour both the past and the hopes for solidarity: I acknowledge the ones with thousands of years of guardianship, their representatives and their activists. I represent the ones with naive sincerity for a bright future, with justice and development and equality. I sincerely advocate solidarity, and wish to foster creative means to achive this. I would like to speak to current activists and families with an interest in the Hunter River region collaborative history research.

  2. This is a highly biased account and much of what David Shoebridge says is subjective interpretation. As someone who has research this site in detail, there is no evidence to suggest a direct link between Ravensworth and the massacres that occurred in the area. The massacres covered in this doco series took place around 30 miles from the homestead. Whilst it was a time of significant unrest and conflict, without historical evidence, you cannot place blame on a single site or property. Read Mark Dunn’s latest book, and interview Laurie Perry to provide an accurate analysis. In David’s case, it suits his political agenda and ideology. At the end of the day, if the homestead remains in situ, then the NSW Govt – or someone – should be investing in its preservation.

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