Friday 20 October 2017

I Support Multuggerah Way!

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Thursday 19 October 2017

Who was Multuggerah?

Multuggerah was a warrior of the Jagera and other related peoples.  He led a resistance campaign against the white settlers for close to seven years.  He and his father (‘Old Moppy’) tried negotiating and bargaining with the newcomers in the 1840s but when communication broke down, conflict took place.  Multuggerah and his father united the tribes of the Lockyer Valley, the Scenic Rim, the Darling Downs and Upper Brisbane Valley. He took on some of the best and bravest of Queensland’s squattocracy.  This group of prominent men came to be known as the “pure Merinos”, the founding fathers of Queensland’s pastoral industry.   In the 1840s on the Darling Downs everybody would have known who Multuggerah was.  His opponents recognised his bravery and he was immortalised in the Poem by John Wilkes, “Raid of the Aborigines”.   

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Why the Second Range Crossing?

 Multuggerah has a direct relationship with the second range crossing.  Historian Dr Ray Kerkhove believes he was probably one of the guides for Ltnt Gorman’s exploration near the proposed route.  Many of Australia’s main roads follow ancient pathways, and the route traversed by the highway was certainly a major pathway and homeland for Multuggerah’s people.  In 2016 from over 14000 street and road names in the Toowoomba region there is not one named after an Aboriginal person.  We think that naming the second range crossing after Multuggerah would be a fitting tribute for  local warrior and a way of improving our understanding of shared history.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Did Multuggerah guide Gorman to the Darling Downs?

John Larkin has recently written to the Toowoomba Chronicle supporting Multuggerah Way.  He questions the claim that Multuggerah may have guided Gorman to the Downs.  You can read his letter here.   You will find my response below with a link to the JK Jarrott article at the conclusion.  The more that we have these conversations the greater our understanding will be of our shared history.

I welcome John Larkin’s support for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing to be named “Multuggerah Way” (TC 2/11) in honour of the local warrior and leader of a brave resistance campaign in the 1840s.  Mr Larkin questions my claim that Multuggerah may have guided Lieutenant Owen Gorman across the Range to the Darling Downs.  Of course history is not a precise science and I cannot be 100 percent sure that this is true – but here is why I make the claim.  On the 1st November 1840 Lt Gorman wrote to the Colonial Secretary reporting an expedition from Brisbane to the Darling Downs which took place in October of that year.      Gorman wrote, “We met with Chief Moppy and part of his tribe on the 12th.  He sent two of his sons and two Blacks belonging to Peel’s Plains to accompany us over the Dividing range”. Multuggerah was one of Chief Moppy’s sons.  We also know that Moppy had three sons.  So whilst this is not conclusive it is safe to say it is more than possible that Multuggerah showed Gorman the way.       Gorman reported that the route that he was guided through was superior to Cunningham’s Gap as a way onto the Downs.  It is rarely acknowledged that the real reason that Gorman set off on this expedition was not to discover a new way onto the Downs but instead to investigate reports of local Aboriginal people being shot by newly arrived settlers.  The story of Gorman’s expedition including handwritten copies of his report can be read in JK Jarrott’s article in the periodical Queensland Heritage (1976).  The story of Gorman’s expedition to the Downs highlights the initial efforts that Multuggerah and his people made to accommodate and befriend the new white settlers.  You can access Jarrott’s article here 

Gorman's Gap by J.K. Jarrott FCA.  

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Momentum Builds to Name Second Range Crossing Multuggerah Way

Momentum Builds to Name Second Range Crossing Multuggerah Way

Some of the crowd at Remembering Multuggerah and Battle of One Tree Hill event
 Toowoomba City Library 13th September 2016

The push to name the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing “Multuggerah Way” after Aboriginal warrior Multuggerah  is gathering momentum as community members gather in Toowoomba today to remember Multuggerah and mark the 143 year anniversary of the Battle of One Tree Hill.  Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh acknowledged Multuggerah and the anniversary of the Battle of One Tree Hill in his maiden speech to Federal Parliament on Monday night.  “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness around a local figure of great historic significance,” stated one of the proponents of the name, Dr Mark Copland.  Dr Copland along with community elder Uncle Darby McCarthy first raised the proposal as part of Toowoomba Regional Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee.  “Multuggerah was a strong leader for his people and a unifying force, bringing together the people of the Lockyer Valley and the Darling Downs.  He was admired by first settlers of the district for his leadership and courage.  The fact that he would have led his people along the route of the Second Range Crossing makes the proposed name perfect in our opinion.  Many roads in Australia follow ancient pathways laid down by Aboriginal people.”

Those supporting “Multuggerah Way” are encouraged to fill in an online survey to demonstrate community support.

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Monday 12 September 2016

How do we know this?

Historians for many years have researched and written about the exploits of Multuggerah and the Battle of One Tree Hill.  Cultural Heritage organisation Jagera Daran has commissioned a study of Multuggerah and Multuggerah Way.  This report provides solid historical evidence for the story of Multuggerah and the resistance campaign that he led.  You can read the report here