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Jandamarra's War -

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Good evening. Virginia Haussegger

with an ABC news update. The

Opposition Leader has tonight delivered his delivere

Opposition╛ delivered his delivered his budget reply pitched Opposition Leader has tonight

squarely at middle Australia. Those he calls the 'forgotten families'.

Australian man has appeared in court he calls the 'forgotten families'. An

charged over the charged over the asylum-seeker

tragedy off Christmas

year. The Iranian- born man was tragedy off Christmas Island last

extradited to Sydney from

extradited to Sydney from Indonesia

earlier today. earlier today. Around fifty asylum

seekers died when their boat smashed

against rocks and broke up. There's

growing criticism of the

budget pledge to install growing criticism of the government's

boxes for pensioners. Electricians budget pledge to install set-top

are worried the roll-out could fall

foul of unscrupulous installers.

Retailers also argue that buying

brand new digital television brand new digital television can be Retailers also argue that buying a

cheaper than installing a set top

to update old TV's. To Canberra's cheaper than installing a set top box

14. Down weather. Cloudy tomrrow - a top of

14. Down to one degree overnight.

Sydney. 20 Melbourne. 15 Adelaide.

17. More news in an the turn of the 20th century, NARRATOR: Just before of becoming a nation, with Australia on the brink of Aboriginal resistance one of the greatest stories of Western Australia. is playing out in the colony (Gunfire) (Cheering) Rebel fighters from the Bunuba nation in the Kimberley. are waging guerrilla warfare (Gunfire) is a young Bunuba warrior The leader of the rebellion raised in the ways of white men. once exiled from his own people, An outcast torn between two worlds to stop the invasion of his country. who has risen up (Gunfire) For nearly three years, are powerless against him the colonial forces of the police and settlers. as he strikes terror in the hearts To the white man, he is an outlaw. a man of mystical powers - To the Bunuba, he is Jalgangurru, a freedom fighter. a protector, a saviour, His name is Jandamarra. (Man speaks Indigenous language) This is fertile Bunuba country. for more than 40,000 years. Bunuba people have called it home Before white settlers arrive of the Kimberley, to colonise this region is around 10,000 people. the population to provide for Bunuba people WOMAN: Bunuba country was able Bunuba people wanted. everything that in Bunuba country, And life was pretty simple spring, ranges. which is made up of river, lot of food. Lot of shade, lot of water, Bunuba people had everything. and obligations to country... And ceremonies and relationships without interruption. ..was carried out gives birth to a baby boy. In 1873, Jinny, a young Bunuba woman, (Speaks Indigenous language) Jandamarra's spirit country and the Oscar Ranges, takes in parts of the Napier turbulent waters have carved out and stretches southward to where and secret tunnels beneath the rock. massive gorges MAN: For the Bunuba, of deeply religious significance. these ancient ranges are a place of the living law They are the physical manifestation from creation times. that has continued But Jandamarra's spirit country of white settlers from the south. soon catches the eyes by people in the south, MAN: It was seen to be, of the country, a highly fertile region and there was a vision an extraordinary amount of wealth, that it could produce Western Australia were looking for, that this was the el dorado that an extraordinary frenzy of interest and that was the beginning of as the Kimberley. in colonising what became known arrives with 4,000 sheep In 1883, pastoralist William Lukin of land on the Lennard River. and takes over a million acres occupies another million acres A year later, William Forrester and names it Lillimilura, north of the Napier Range, of Lillmaloora. mispronouncing the Bunuba name two or three years, PEDERSEN: In the first harmonious relationships. there was very, very very prominent mediators, The Bunuba had two or three led by Ellemarra. Ellemarra. Ellemarra is Jandamarra's uncle. Ellemarra. Ellemarra. man who was very confident, PEDERSEN: He was a strikingly tall got to know him, and the white people to the Bunuba people. and he was the access they had (Coughs) ANDREWS: JUNE OSCAR: As the herds grew, the destruction of country, people started to see for important places. of waterholes, of the disrespect as though they could only react, PEDERSEN: The Bunuba reacted and to chase those sheep away, which is to safeguard those places and to spear those sheep, the settlers reacted with violently. and this was something that (Gunfire) of a 12-year uprising by the Bunuba. The middle of 1885 sees the beginning armed conflict It will be the biggest and longest ever fought on Australian soil. is Ellemarra. The first leader of the rebellion fighters are now wanted men. No longer a mediator, he and his and imprisoned. And many are hunted down found themselves PEDERSEN: Suddenly people attacked by settlers or police. constantly moving in fear of being their traditional land Many Bunuba flee Jinny, took Jandamarra PEDERSEN: Jandamarra's mother, of the family to Lukin's station. and went with other members generally talked about It was part of what was as the 'coming in' process, where, for all sorts of reasons, into the station settlements, Aboriginal people were lured one, for protection, in the station settlements. because they knew that it was safer (Speaks Indigenous language) PEDERSEN: But also because happening there. there were interesting things to be discovered and learnt, There was new things and Jandamarra came to the station and impressionable age. at a very young ANDREWS: PEDERSEN: Lukin saw Jandamarra as different to his other workers, his young boys that he had. He saw him as somebody with extraordinary potential, and invested heavily in him as a worker. Lukin's leading station hand, Jim Crowe, teaches Jandamarra everything about station life, and he soon becomes a skilled horseman and shearer. Crowe also teaches him to shoot, and in time, Jandamarra becomes an expert marksman. (Gun fires) OSCAR: It was a world that he had never had experienced before. So, I think in his youthfulness and his eagerness to learn, he found it extremely exciting, and he was seduced by it all. While falling under the spell of whitefella ways, Jandamarra also witnesses the dark side of colonial life. Whoa. On this new frontier away from the eyes of the rest of the world... (Gun fires) ..brutality thrives. Aboriginal station workers are often mistreated. Floggings are an almost daily event. Runaways are hunted down and imprisoned. While for Bunuba who offer resistance, punishment is often far worse. PEDERSEN: You've got to remember that this was a unique part of the world here. You've got stations bordering this wall of rock that is a frontier, a graphic frontier, where the Aboriginal people could be a station worker in the morning and a free-spirited Aboriginal person in the afternoon. That's how close the frontier was. So, Jandamarra was going backwards and forwards to the station life and to being a Bunuba person. Jandamarra is nearly a teenager, and the time has come for him to go through traditional Bunuba law. ANDREWS: Jandamarra's journey through law takes years. During this time, his uncle teaches him the laws and customs of his ancestors, his obligations to his land and his people. And the many secrets that Bunuba country holds. MAN: Hands up! Ellemarra. I'd advise you not to move. Jandamarra's journey into manhood is suddenly interrupted when he and his uncle are caught spearing sheep. They're marched 100km to the prison at Derby. PEDERSEN: When he got to Derby, and he was put in an awful jail, a cesspit, with people from all over the West Kimberley, chained at night, no toilet arrangements at all, a bucket of water for everyone. A most gruesome, awful situation. Many of the prisoners sent to Derby will never come home. Their final destination is thousands of kilometres away in a prison camp on Rottnest Island, off Perth. There, more than 300 will die and be buried far from their people and their country. But Jandamarra is spared this fate. Jandamarra somehow managed to charm the police into getting out of that situation. In Derby, Jandamarra is kept apart from the other prisoners, and enjoys freedoms they do not. He becomes well-known to Derby's residents. The police use him as a mascot, and he gets to look after their horses. After two years, Jandamarra heads back to Bunuba country, leaving his uncle in prison. ANDREWS: MAN: Belonging nowhere and without any community responsibilities, Jandamarra hangs around, moving between the camps and Lillimilura homestead, making trouble and further alienating himself from his elders. JUNE OSCAR: Jandamarra was very charismatic, someone who appealed to many women, and the stories that have been handed down speak of many women being attracted to him, and he was someone who also took women off other men, and saw that as a game. Jandamarra's wild ways soon lead him into trouble with Bunuba law. Many of the women he plays around with have kinship ties and skin names that are not right for him. MARR: Jandamarra is banished from traditional Bunuba life. Oh! (Laughs) In his exile, Jandamarra finds an unlikely friend in a white stock hand. PEDERSEN: This guy's name's Bill Richardson, who is an Englishman in his late 20s, who finds himself on the Halls Creek gold rush in the late 1880s. Doesn't succeed, and he goes and lives at Lillimilura Station, and becomes friendly with Jandamarra. So, there's a sense of similar characters. You know, they're both loners, and they find themselves in this very strange land between white people and Bunuba people. By day, Jandamarra rides with Richardson. And by night, they share the same women. One of them, Mayannie, will later become Jandamarra's wife. Here, have a little drink. By late 1893, the colonial world is tightening its grip on Bunuba. The Bunuba fight back, harassing and spearing stock. Police and settlers chase them down and imprison them. In May, 1894, Richardson takes a job as a police scout, and is put in charge of the Lennard River camp. Jandamarra rides with him, not as a tracker, but as a companion, enjoying the benefits of white colonial life. Stay there and don't move! Roll over! On the ground, on the ground! Don't move! Get your hands behind your back! Hands, hands, hands! Within days of his appointment, Richardson and Jandamarra arrest a group of Bunuba for killing two sheep. One of them is Jandamarra's uncle, Ellemarra. (Whip cracks)

MARR: PEDERSEN: Now, at this critical point, on the way to Derby, in chains, Ellemarra escaped. Richardson said he somehow, with his superhuman strength, broke the chains - just snapped it with his own bare hands. Now, whether that happened is, um... ..something we'll never know, but it may have been that Jandamarra might have deliberately freed him. In 1894, a new breed of pastoralist is about to overrun Bunuba country. Cattlemen. Wool prices are down, and cattle are in demand to feed the growing population further south. The newly arrived cattlemen plan to move a herd of 500 into the heart of Bunuba country. They're playing for high stakes, and the Western Australian police have orders to help protect the herd from Bunuba attacks. Richardson was directed by the head of the Derby police force - Drewry, his name was - to go back to Lillimilura in advance of the cattle coming through, and to meet another police patrol led by Richard Pilmer. So, the two patrols would go right around the ranges, and capture as many Aboriginal people as possible. By late October, 1894, the job of clearing up the country is going well. Richardson and Jandamarra capture a large group of Bunuba. Among them is Jandamarra's brother-in-law, Lillimarra. And once again, they've captured Jandamarra's uncle. They march them to Lillimilura Station, where Richardson keeps them chained up under a tree, with no food or shelter, for seven days. For every day that he keeps them there, he gets extra ration allowance, which he pockets. (Man speaks Indigenous language) (Man speaks Indigenous language) PEDERSEN: The pressure on Jandamarra was intense. People talked about how hot the chains were. It was late October, very hot. MARR: (Men sing in Indigenous language) (Man speaks Indigenous language)

(Gun fires) (Man screams) (Yells) For Jandamarra, the actions of this night are a declaration of war against every white person in the colony of Western Australia. He is now an outlaw from the world that had once adopted him. ANDREWS: In the days following the stand at Lillimilura, the word of Jandamarra's declaration of war quickly spreads in Bunuba country, and many Bunuba men and women make their way to Windjana to join him. Jandamarra and his followers are now hiding out among the rocks and caves waiting to ambush the cattle drive that they know is on its way. The cattle drive is led by station hands Frank Burke and Billy Gibbs. Some distance behind, another station hand, Fred Edgar, follows in a horse and dray with food and supplies. But Jandamarra knows the dray holds something far more important, and it's of great interest to him. As they enter Windjana Gorge, a strange uneasiness settles on the herd. Two of the Aboriginal stockmen, Georgie and Nugget, arrive with news of the killing of Richardson. Burke, an old station hand from Lillmaloora, is not concerned enough to arm himself. He knows Jandamarra, and believes he would be far away, putting as much distance as possible between himself and the police. Leaving the cattle on higher ground, Burke goes down to the water to get a drink. You wouldn't shoot me, Pigeon. (Gun fires) Gibbs tries to escape, but is speared by Bunuba warriors. (Man cries out) Nugget and Georgie gallop back to alert Fred Edgar, who is unaware of what's happened up ahead. Fred orders Nugget to stay and defend the dray while he sets off to raise the alarm in Derby. (Gun fires) PEDERSEN: Jandamarra did everything he could to try and stop the word reaching Derby. Clearly an uprising was being organised, and it was terribly important, he knew, that the police be delayed as long as possible. So, he chased Edgar, standing tall in the stirrups, firing his Winchester rifle repeatedly. (Gunfire) But the horse fell just as Edgar arrived at Lukin station. By the time Jandamarra had come back from Lennard River station, he found the wagon at the sand bed of the Lennard River being looted by the Bunuba. They were going right through it to see what was in it, and there was an enormous amount of stores, but most importantly, there was an extensive armoury of weapons. The spoils from the ambush includes rifles, revolvers, and a shotgun, as well as 4,000 rounds of ammunition and 4lb of gunpowder. Along with the weapons they got from Lillmaloora, it's a sizeable armoury for anyone going into battle. PEDERSEN: Suddenly the gun that had always been in the hands of the settlers and the police was now in the hands of Aboriginal people. (Speaks Indigenous language) (Cheering) And this was an extraordinary threat, without precedent, on the Western Australian frontier. (Speaks Indigenous language) (Cheering) The news of Jandamarra's attack reaches Derby, and spreads like wildfire. A meeting of the town's 60 residents is called, and a resolution is sent by telegraph to the Western Australian premier, Sir John Forrest. He responds with a speech in Parliament. MAN, VOICEOVER: Every endeavour is being made to bring the murderers to justice. Overand Drewry, the head of the Derby police, believes four or five constables and six black troopers will be enough to deal with Jandamarra and his accomplices. Not satisfied with this, the townspeople demand stronger measures be taken. MAN, VOICEOVER: The bringing to justice of three miserable blacks is not good enough. In avenging the deaths of Richardson, Burke and Gibbs, the whole district should be prosecuted. PEDERSEN: So, while the Bunuba were preparing for the imminent arrival of the police, the government responded in a way that a government has never responded before in dealing with Aboriginal people in Western Australia. It actually gave Drewry total powers to deal with what was seen as a major rebellion, an insurrection, how he thought fit. So, suddenly Aboriginal people in the whole area of the Oscar-Napier Ranges were not protected by the law at all, and that basically the whole Bunuba nation was outlawed. Drewry had the power to mobilise the whole West Kimberley society. So, there's a whole range of pastoralists and other stock workers that were enlisted as special constables in the police force. With a force of 28, 17 of them black, Drewry plans to storm the Bunuba stronghold in three separate squads. Under cover of darkness, the parties manoeuvre into position for the dawn surprise attack. Drewry leads his group 20 miles clear of the Lennard River and enters the eastern entrance of the gorge. ANDREWS: As dawn breaks, Drewry and his men find nothing but an empty gorge. But high up in the cliff face, Jandamarra's fighters lie in wait. Jandamarra has thought of everything. Except the possibility of an attack coming down the cliff from the top of the Napier Range Plateau. Drewry's third party is led by Jandamarra's mentor, Jim Crowe, who, ironically, has been shown this access gorge by a much younger Jandamarra when they were friends. Crowe and his team scurry down the cliff face and spot Jandamarra's men. Their hope of an ambush is over, and the battle of Windjana Gorge begins. (Gunfire) After eight hours of shooting, the battle is at stalemate. But then Ellemarra makes a crucial mistake. Leaving his firing position, he makes his way to Jandamarra's cave, either for ammunition or to discuss strategy. Almost within the safety of the cave, he turns his back on the police. (Gun fires) Arggh! (Cries out) (Wailing) The news of Ellemarra's death shocks the Bunuba, who begin to retreat. As the police prepare to attack, Jandamarra single-handedly pins them down under a barrage of fire while the Bunuba escape. (Gunfire) All of the police guns are now trained on Jandamarra. (Gunfire) Arggh! I got him! I got Jandamarra! (Shouts in Indigenous language) As the police scour the area, Jinny helps her wounded son escape into the surrounding tunnels and secret passages of the gorge.

The police think they have won the battle. But for settlers throughout the Kimberley, the war is far from over. Not satisfied with this apparent victory, they had long been calling for resolute and decisive action against the Bunuba people. MAN, VOICEOVER: It would be a good time for the Western Australian government to shut its eyes for, say, three months, and let the settlers up here have a little time to teach the nigger the difference between thine and mine. It would only have to be done once, and once done, would easily be forgotten. (Screaming and gunfire) In the two-and-a-half-month military operation, police record killing 27 Aboriginal people. But according to Bunuba, many more were murdered. PEDERSEN: Following this period of bloodshed, strenuous efforts were made to conceal what had happened. The government was very sensitive that the settlement of Western Australia, and the Kimberley particularly, was not seen to be one of war, that this was civilised society extending its influence over Aboriginal people. They didn't want to portray this to be one of serious bloodshed, but that's, in fact, what it was. There was clearly a war of extermination being fought in the Kimberley. It is very quiet in Bunuba country. With Ellemarra dead and Jandamarra wounded, the Bunuba go into hiding in the ranges. OSCAR: Jandamarra had his mother constantly with him - during his fights, during his recovery. You know, wherever he moved in Bunuba country, he had his mother, but also with his mother were a group of women. Who were his band of warriors, if you like. They cared for him, provided food for him, and their knowledge of bush medicines and how to, you know, prepare it so that they could apply it and he could have a full recovery. Jandamarra's wounds have healed. But he still feels the pain of the terrible retribution his actions have brought to the many people along the river country. MARR: Jandamarra decides to change his strategy. No longer will he engage police and settlers in open combat. His tactics are now to confuse, ridicule, and exhaust police patrols. To police troopers, he becomes almost ghostlike.

On his frequent raids, he leaves a defiant trademark calling card. Footprints in flour to confuse the police and trackers. (Metal clangs) What was that?! For the next two years, Jandamarra wages a war of terror against the white settlers and police, surviving every gunshot and escaping every trap. ANDREWS: Jandamarra's magic comes from his connection to his country and Bunuba law. He knows every nook and cranny, every waterhole and billabong, and everywhere he sets foot, his country speaks to him secrets only Bunuba know. In late October, 1895, the police surprise Jandamarra relaxing with his group on the banks of Windjana Pool. Jandamarra escapes, but police troopers capture his wife, Mayannie. Jandamarra will never see her again. The police think they have Jandamarra cornered at Tunnel Creek. But after three days of waiting in vain, they return to Lillmaloora to find that the police station has been raided again. A revolver and some ammunition is missing. PEDERSEN: People talked about that he'd become a bird and flown away, and there were these sort of stories getting around, that Jandamarra had transformed himself into something else. This is where an extraordinary psychological warfare of attrition began to emerge, because Jandamarra had clearly worked out that the most vulnerable aspect of the police was the relationship between the policemen and the policemen's tracker. If Jandamarra could sever that relationship, then the white police were fundamentally impotent. They couldn't operate in this country, and over the next two and a half years, his whole mode of operandis was to strike terror into the hearts of any Aboriginal tracker or trooper that was in this region. During this time, many black trackers ran away. But in late 1896, an Aboriginal tracker from the Pilbara arrives in Bunuba country who isn't afraid of Jandamarra or his magical powers. Mingo Micki is relentless, smart, and resourceful. It is said he also possesses the secret powers of Jalgangurru.

So, by early 1897, the police are hunting Jandamarra with renewed vigour. While Micki approaches Jandamarra from the west, a posse of white troopers commanded by the notorious Richard Pilmer is approaching from the east. PEDERSEN: So, Pilmer, who was head of the Fitzroy police force, who everyone remembers now as a murdering, cruel policeman, he immediately moves into Oscar Range and attacks a number of Bunuba people. And in that shooting, Jandamarra's mother, Jinny, is killed. OSCAR: The toll of his mother's death on him would have been just devastating for him, and slowly, as his band of loyal women who worked with him, as they were slowly being killed off or taken away, I would imagine that he, you know, that he kind of felt that it was coming to some sort of terrible end. PEDERSEN: The worry of the police coming prompted Jandamarra to do what he'd done many times before, which was to lead the police away from his people. So, he walked away from Oscar Range homestead, across Plum Plain, this blacksoil area, heading towards Brooking Gorge, and Pilmer, he followed the tracks. He followed the tracks all the way to the limestone. And then suddenly Jandamarra appeared. And Jandamarra said to him... Do you want your life? And Pilmer, this is the story of the Bunuba oral tradition, Pilmer pleaded for his life, and with that, Jandamarra took aim... (Gun fires) ..and shot his hat off. And Pilmer rode back in fear back to Fitzroy Crossing. While Pilmer flees, Micki is closing in from the west. Jandamarra's women create a maze of tracks to confused and slow down the police. (Gunfire) But the police patrol soon catches up with Jandamarra's band. The protection they offered him is now in shambles. And Micki, like a bloodhound, is still on his trail. PEDERSEN: Micki finally finds his tracks, and then there is a chase on. Moving ahead of the police patrol, Micki now has Jandamarra in his sights. Jandamarra's heading towards the limestone outcrop of the Napier Range - his spirit country, and the safety of Tunnel Creek. But before he can get there, Micki comes within striking distance. (Gun fires) PEDERSEN: Micki hits Jandamarra a number of times, and then finally Jandamarra falls, apparently dead, and Micki comes up to Jandamarra to kill him, to finish him off, and Joe Blythe orders him to stop. Joe Blythe, a station owner and member of the police posse, wants the pleasure of killing Jandamarra himself. (Gunfire) PEDERSEN: Jandamarra's shot in the groin and Blythe is shot in the hand and loses his thumb. But with that, though, Jandamarra escapes into the long grass. For three long days, Jandamarra crawls, claws, and stumbles his way towards his spirit country, and the refuge of Tunnel Creek. He is now completely alone - his mother killed, Mayannie captured, most of his countrymen dead or in chains. And down below is Micki. (Man speaks Indigenous language)

(Gun fires) Jandamarra's severed head is put on public display in a glass case in Perth. People turn up in droves to ogle the grisly remains. However, the authorities know it is not Jandamarra's head at all, but that of another Bunuba warrior shot in battle. Jandamarra's head has already been sent to London to a gun manufacturer for his own private collection - a brutal testimony to the power of the weapons he makes. (Both sing in Indigenous language) Jandamarra's war ended four years before Australia declared itself a nation. By then, the last of the Aboriginal lands had finally been conquered. Today the story of Jandamarra belongs not only to Bunuba, but to all Australians as an enduring reminder of the price of freedom, and the ongoing need for justice. OSCAR: When you stand up for your country and your people, people today aren't termed outlaws. In our opinion, he was a freedom fighter. (Man speaks Indigenous language) Closed Captions by CSI *

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, Tony Jones with a

Lateline update. The Federal

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has

delivered his budget reply speech

outlining what he calls an alternative

alternative vision rather than an

alternative budget. Mr Abbott

reaffirmed many of the Coalition's ele

election commitments and appealed to what he called the forgotten

what he called the forgotten families of Australia, who he said have been

let down by a wasteful Government.

let down by a wasteful Government. He also called on the Government to

finalise its Carbon Tax and call an

finalise its Carbon Tax and call an immediate election. The Opposition

Leader says he'll announce his position

position on the Government's budget

items when they come items when they come before the

parliament and he will announce the

Coalition's own saving and spending

measures before the next

measures before the next election. An Australian man has appeared in a

Sydney court charged over the asylum

seeker tragedy on Christmas Island.

The Iranian born man was

The Iranian born man was deported from Indonesia earlier today and

later appeared in court where he was

refused bail. He is now

refused bail. He is now being taken to Western Australia by to Western Australia by federal

police to face 89 charges of people smuggling.

smuggling. Around 50 asylum seekers

died when their boat smashed against

rocks and broke up off Christmas

Island in December. And to talk

Island in December. And to talk about the Opposition's budget reply the Opposition's budget reply we'll be joined live by the Shadow

be joined live by the Shadow Minister for Finance Andrew Robb. That's Lateline at 10:30.