The Guardian 23 February, 2005

Desecration of Aboriginal memorial

Vandals have desecrated the memorial commemorating the mass slaughter of Aboriginal men, women and children near the northern NSW town of Inverell.

The plaques remembering the Myall Creek Massacre of the 1830s were defaced last month. The vandals scratched out words and gouged holes in the plaques. The words "murder", "women" and "children" were hammered out of one plaque, leaving it unreadable.

Dozens of Aborigines were killed by white settlers in the massacre.

The memorial was built as an act of reconciliation between the local Indigenous people and the wider community.

"It's hard to fully express the outrage news of the vandalism will cause across the country. I'm sure I speak for every member of the Land Council network in NSW, and beyond, in expressing my utter disgust and condemnation at the desecration of the memorial", NSW Aboriginal Land Council Administrator Murray Chapman told the Koori Mail newspaper.

Mr Chapman went on to say, "It would appear to be a cold, calculated attack on a memorial of significance to all Australians committed to reconciliation.

"Unfortunately, it's a chilling reminder of how far some people in this country have got to go before they can reconcile themselves to our brutal history", he added.

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