Memorial for Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner.

Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were two Tasmanian Aboriginal men who were brought to the colony of Victoria in 1839 by George Augustus Robinson. In 1841, they were among a group of Aboriginal guerrilla resistance fighters who fought throughout Victoria. In 1842, after being caught and convicted of murder, they became the first people to be hanged in Melbourne. The City of Melbourne has stated that “their hanging was intended by their judge to communicate a political message to Aboriginal people considering armed resistance to colonisation.” Despite this and countless other examples, it is rarely acknowledged in Australia that British colonisation was violent and Aboriginal people fiercely resisted invasion of their Country.

Standing by Tunnerninnerwait and Maulboyheenner is a commemorative marker by artists Brook Andrew and Trent Walker commissioned by the City of Melbourne and opened publicly on 11 September 2016. The artwork is situated on a small reserve at the intersection of Victoria and Franklin Streets, in proximity to the site known to be where the two men were hanged.

Further Reading:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.