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The Battle of Yering was a conflict between Indigenous Australians of the Wurundjeri nation and the Border Police which occurred on 13 January 1840, on the outskirts of Melbourne[1]

Frontier Conflict

The conflict arose after a quarrel between Wurundjeri-william people and settler, James Anderson, over the right to harvest a potato crop on Wurundjeri land at what is now known as Warrandyte. A stand-off occurred and the clansmen moved to William Ryrie’s Yering Station. Troopers of the Border Police led by Captain Henry Gisborne, who was Commissioner of Crown Lands, lured Jaga Jaga (Jacky-Jacky) and some of the Wurundjeri men to Yering station homestead where Jaga Jaga was captured and handcuffed. The other Wurundjeri men quickly retreated.[2]

Wurundjeri men then approached the homestead with muskets and spears, whereupon Gisborne and his troopers mounted a counterattack, during which several shots were exchanged, the Wurundjeri choosing to retreat into the nearby billabongs. Having lured the troopers away as a diversion, other warriors approached the homestead and freed Jaga Jaga.

No white settlers or troopers were injured in the exchange, and injuries on the part of the Wurundjeri are unknown. Gisborne later wrote to Superintendent (later Governor) Charles La Trobe saying "I am unable to account for their never having hit us as they are capital marksmen". There was no investigation of the incident initiated, no charges laid, and the incident was passed over.[2]

Jaga Jaga, was also known as Bor-rer bor-rer and was the nephew of Billibellary, a ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people.[2]


On 13 January 2007 at the Yarra Flats Billabongs the Shire of Yarra Ranges with Murrundindi, ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people, unveiled a historical plaque and pictograph commemorating the Battle of Yering 167 years previously.[3] The plaques were organised by The Friends of the Yarra Flats Billabongs in conjunction with Yarra Ranges Friends in Reconciliation and Nillumbik Reconciliation Group.[1]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kath Gannaway, Important step for reconciliation Star News Group, 24 January 2007. Accessed 1 November 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Isabel Ellender and Peter Christiansen, pp65-67 People of the Merri Merri. The Wurundjeri in Colonial Days, Merri Creek Management Committee, 2001 ISBN 0-9577728-0-7
  3. Media Release Shire brings Focus to Special Billabongs, Shire of Yarra Ranges, 23 January 2007. Accessed 1 November 2008

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