‘In May 1824, what can only be described as a period of all-out, total gudyarra (‘war’ in the Wiradyuri language) had begun west of the Blue Mountains. Relations between Wiradyuri people and the colonists in the country around Bathurst had completely broken down, and the number of raids and killings occurring across isolated stock stations in the district had intensified.’
In Gudyarra, Stephen Gapps – award-winning author of The Sydney Wars – unearths what led to this furious and bloody war, beginning with the occupation of Wiradyuri lands by Europeans following Governor Macquarie’s push to expand the colony west over the Blue Mountains to generate wealth from sheep and cattle.
Gudyarra traces the co-ordinated resistance warfare by the Wiradyuri under the leadership of Windradyne, and others such as Blucher and Jingler, that occurred in a vast area across the central west of New South Wales. Detailing the drastic counterattacks by the colonists and the punitive expeditions led by armed parties of colonists and convicts that often ended in massacres of Wiradyuri women and children, Gapps provides an important new historical account of the fierce Wiradyuri resistance.
‘This isn’t just a war for Wiradjuri country, this is a war for Australia: the country we are still to be. Our nation begins here.’ — Stan Grant
‘The untold story of the Wiradyuri War of resistance against a World Empire’ — Uncle Bill Allen Junior, Wiradyuri Elder
‘In Gudyarra, Stephen Gapps plots in meticulous detail the brutal war between the British and the Wiradyuri for possession of the Western Plains of New South Wales. A masterly account of both sides of the conflict, Gudyarra offers new understandings of the complexity of frontier history and the need for all Australians to reconcile with the past.’ — Lyndall Ryan
‘This is an important book, indeed essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the new direction in the history of the frontier wars.’ — Henry Reynolds
About The Author
Stephen Gapps is a public historian working to bring Frontier War histories into broader recognition as Australia’s First Wars. In 2011, he was awarded the NSW Premier’s History Award for regional and community history. Stephen’s The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the early colony 1788–1817 (2018) was the inaugural winner of the Les Carlyon Award for the writing of military history (2020).
About the Book