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MoB Sunday Stories: Dundalli

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 charged with false crimes and brutally hung for his retaliation. The European authorities’ unsettling pursuit of Dundalli may be understood as an attempt to destroy the legacy of an ancient legal system in Queensland’s south-east. We hope that one day his name will be known by many more Australians!

Ryan Presley, Blood Money – Infinite Note – Dundalli Commemorative, 2016, synthetic polymer paint and gold leaf on hoop pine. Museum of Brisbane Collection.

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