An image of Myth of the Western man (White man's burden)

Gordon Bennett

(Australia 1955 – 03 Jun 2014)

Brisbane, North-east region

Myth of the Western man (White man's burden)

Not on display
Further information

1788 Colony established. Flag raised.

1796 First legally sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people – Hawkesbury River area – troops sent from Parramatta.

1799 - First murder trial of five whites for the murder of two Aboriginal boys – found guilty but released – pardoned three years later.

1802 - Pemulwuy killed and decapitated, his head sent to England.

1803 - First colony established in Tasmania

1804 - First massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania, at Risdon Cove.

1813 - Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson cross the Blue Mountains into Wiradjuri land.

1824 - Massacres of Wiradjuri people.

1838 - Myall Creek massacre in northern New South Wales. First white man hung – against public opinion and in a retrial after acquitted in first trial – for the murder of Aboriginal people. This creates a climate of secrecy around further murders.

1857 - Yeeman people (near Roma, Queensland) massacred.

1861 - Largest massacre of whites by Aboriginal people in reprisal for hundreds of Aboriginal deaths, at Cullin-la-Ringo Station, Queensland by the Kairi people.

1869 - Tasmania, William Lanney – touted as the last Aboriginal male – died. His grave is looted and skeleton stolen.

1876 - Tasmania, Truganini – touted as the last Aboriginal female – died. Her skeleton is put on display (against her last wishes) in the Tasmanian Museum.

1928 - Coniston massacre in the Northern Territory, near Yuendumu. Those responsible vindicated in an official (cover up) inquiry ending 7 February 1929.

1971 - Yirrkala, Gove Peninsula, land rights thrown out of court.

1972 - Aboriginal Tent Embassy set up in Canberra. Gough Whitlam elected and Blue Poles by Jackson Pollack purchased for Australia (public outraged).

1976 - Truganini's bones cremated and her ashes dispersed in the wind.

1992 - Mabo case is won – Terra Nullius overturned.

Information provided by the artist.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006

Place of origin
Queensland, Australia
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
175.5 x 304.3 cm stretcher
Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. verso, pencil "...1992/ G Bennett 24-12-92".

Purchased 1993
Accession number
© The Estate of Gordon Bennett