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Lillimooloora Ruins

Segment: Lillimooloora Ruins
Presenter: Christina Morrissy
Date: 2nd December 2018

The Kimberly is full of incredible stories, and there is one location in particular where the stories and worlds of the early settlers and the traditional owners collided with unparalleled ferocity.

  • Not far from Windjana Gorge, at the foot of the Napier Ranges lies the ruins of Lillimooloora. Dillon Andrews is a Bunuba elder who has been operating as a tour guide in the area in recent years.
  • While the ruins may not look like much today, they were central to one of the most important stories of the Bunuba Country, when the local Aboriginal people and the white settlers clashed.
  • The conflict in the area began when travelling graziers saw the potential of the region for livestock. The old ruins were built in the 1800s as a sheep station, before it became a cattle station, and finally a police outpost.
  • Working with the police was a young Bunuba man named Jandamarra. A crack shot and brilliant horseman, he was a man torn between two worlds – one being the world of his tribal elders, the other being that of his friend and partner, Constable Richardson.
  • Along with Richardson, Jandamarra was working for the police, and the two were great friends. The pair of them rounded up 16 Bunuba elders who were wanted by the police for spearing sheep. After hearing the elders singing Bunuba songs, Jandamarra shot Richardson and freed his people, starting a war that lasted for 3 years.
  • Dillon usually runs tag along tours from Windjana Gorge, just a 5-minute drive away. For more details, visit the address below.

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