From February to May in 1868 an unknown number of Yaburara people from the Burrup Peninsula were killed almost wiping out the whole Yaburara nation.
Rangi Hirini

16 Apr 2018 - 3:16 PM  UPDATED 16 Apr 2018 - 3:16 PM

The Flying Foam Massacre is one of Australia’s more brutal massacres of Aboriginal people.

In 1868, on the orders of the State Government’s resident Robert Sholl, police and white settlers were given permission to kill any Aboriginal person as retaliation for a police officer who was speared by the Yaburara people.

It has been estimated that up to 150 Yaburara men, women and children were killed between the months of February to May.

Over the weekend, many local Indigenous and non- Indigenous people came together to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the massacre.

Gathering at the Burrup Peninsula, located 35 kilometres north of Karratha, Traditional Owners said this event was not to “blame or shame” anyone but commemorate what happened to the Yaburara people.

Yaburara and Coastal Mardhudunera Aboriginal Corporation heritage officer Audrey Cosmos hosted the ceremony.

“We need a collaborative working relationship to secure, preserve and maintain the massacre sites…so that all Australians can remember this history and that the younger generations cannot forget and have a better future,” she said.  

WA Greens MLC, Robin Chapple has called for the removal of two streets in Western Australia which are named after Robert Sholl.

Sholl Street is Roebourne’s main street and runs straight through the centre of the small Pilbara town.

A paver on St Georges Terrace has also been dedicated to Robert Sholl. Mr Chapple wants both commemorative monuments to be removed.  

“This is one of Australia’s worst genocides,” he said at the remembrance ceremony on Sunday.

The first Remembrance Day for the massacre was held in 2013; over 145 years after the massacre began.

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