Remembering the 'Flying Foam Massacre' at Burrup Peninsular, WA

18 February 2013

Supporters from NSW, Queensland and the ACT gather at the Tent Embassy in support of the Stand up for the Burrup campaign

Click for short video footage

(Photo & Video footage: Ellie Gilbert)

Sunday the 17th of February marked the 145th anniversary of the Flying Foam Massacre on the Burrup Peninsular in Northwest Western Australia, when it is estimated sixty Yaburara children, women and men were murdered by colonial gunshot.

The massacre occurred after the spearing of a police officer, Constable Griffis, who was believed to have raped a Yaburara woman. Over the following months it is estimated a total of 100-150 Yaburara were killed by way of retribution.

The Sunday commemoration was part of the ongoing 'Stand up for the Burrup' campaign, which is seeking UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the Burrup Peninsula ('Murujuga' to local Aboriginal people) and Dampier Archipelago rock art precinct.

The Burrup has been described as 'the Aboriginal Bible' and is the world's largest collection of rock art.

The engravings depict macro fauna extinct for 40 - 45,000 years. Since 1965 an estimated 25% of the Burrup rock art has been destroyed for industrial development.

Caption on plaque: Hereabouts in February 1868; a party of settlers from Roebourne shot and killed as many as 60 Yapururra people in response to the killing of a European policeman in Nickol Bay. This incident has become known as the "Flying Foam Massacre".