Museum of Brisbane

Sunday Stories | Dundalli

Sunday Stories | Dundalli the Warrior!

You’ve heard of Ned Kelly, but have you heard of Dundalli?

Dundalli (1820-1855), was part of the Dalla tribes, and grew up in the Blackall Range. Pre-settlement this area had a rich regional economy, and exquisite natural landscapes. Dundalli was a very tall man, with extensive knowledge and practice of Aboriginal law, and for 10 years he led a strong resistance against the European settlers in the Brisbane region. Dundalli responded to the slaughter and assault of traditional owners through a process of extensive inter-tribal collaboration and the application of Aboriginal law. It took many years and many resources, to finally capture Dundalli, who was brutally hung for his retaliations, but also charged with false crimes. It is suggested that the European authorities unsettling pursuit of the hanging of Dundalli becomes clear when it is understood as an attempt to destroy the legacy of an ancient legal system in Queensland’s southeast. We hope one day his name will be known by many more Australians!


Ryan Presley
Alice Springs b. 1987
Blood Money – Infinite Note – Dundalli Commemorative 2016
Synthetic polymer paint and gold leaf on hoop pine
Museum of Brisbane Collection