Acknowledgement Of Country
The RAHS acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, teach and learn about Australia’s past. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Tree on the site of Yuranigh’s Grave, Molong, NSW
This photograph was taken on the site of Yuranigh (d.1850) of the Wiradjuri People. He was among three Aboriginal guides employed by Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell to accompany him on his 1845 expedition from Boree, near Molong, to central Queensland. Mitchell frequently mentioned Yuranigh in his journals for his role in finding food and water, providing information on native flora and fauna, and acting as an interpreter and diplomat. He referred to Yuranigh as ‘guide, companion, counsellor and friend’.
When the 1845 expedition was over, Yuranigh went with Mitchell to Sydney. However, Yuranigh soon tired of the town and became a stockman on a northern cattle station. He died near Molong in April 1850. On hearing of his death, Mitchell arranged for Yuranigh’s grave to be fenced at government expense and later he himself paid for a headstone for his friend.
Yuranigh’s people, the Wiradjuri, carved five trees on this site with striking traditional geometric designs. Four of the trees remain on the site today. This combination of Aboriginal tree carvings and a European headstone is unique. It is currently the only known site where Aboriginal and European burial practices co-exist.
Baker, D. W. A. (1998). ‘Exploring with Aborigines: Thomas Mitchell and his Aboriginal guides’. Aboriginal History, 22, 36–50. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24046158
Yuranigh’s Aboriginal grave – historic site. National Parks NSW, https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/yuranighs-aboriginal-grave-historic-site, accessed online 25 May 2023.