35 – Jandamarra: the Bunuba Warrior: Part 1

Jandamarra was a Bunuba man, from the Kimberly region in Western Australia, who has been called both an outlaw and a hero.  It’s a story of conflict between the indigenous peoples, and the new comers to Australia; a chapter in what we more lately call the Frontier Wars. 

In the late 1880s Jandamarra lead his people in resisting the takeover of their lands, at a time when stockholders wished to bring sheep & cattle into the Kimberly.  It is a confronting story, but one very important for both original and newer Australians to understand and consider. 

Note that as a long Episode is has been offered and 2 parts

(35 mins)

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AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia
Bunuba country (Bunuba Stories – Kimberley Language Resource Centre)
Kimberly language groups
Windjana Gorge (WA Nat Parks)
Kimberly Cattle stations (ABC News)
Chained Aboriginal Prisoners (State Lib WA)
Tunnel Creek (WA Nat Parks)
Windjana Gorge (WA Tourism_Cathy_Zwick)

Podcast Recommendation:    History Lab Podcast


Pedersen, H., & Woorunmurra, B. (2011). Jandamarra and the Bunuba resistance. Broome, Western Australia: Magabala Books.

Kinnane, S. (2008). Blood History. In R. Perkins & M. Langton (Eds.), First Australians: an illustrated history. Carlton, Victoria: The Miegunyah Press.

SBS: First Australians. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/firstaustralians/


Pedersen, H. Jandamarra. In Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved from http://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/jandamarra-8822

The West Kimberley, Western Australia. (2011).  Retrieved from https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/ab9ed386-bff4-44de-8ea1-5f0a39e2e50a/files/west-kimberley-factsheet.pdf

Smith, E. J. (2018). Jandamarra: The outlaw who fought to save his country and people from colonisation. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-04/iconic-australian-landscape-home-to-fierce-warrior/9936054

Torres, M. (2012). Jandamarra’s War (TV Docu-drama). Retrieved from http://australian-cultural-atlas.info/CAA/listing.php?id=3

National Library of Australia (NLA). [Cook’s] Secret instructions. Retrieved from https://www.nla.gov.au/content/secret

British Admiralty. (1768). [Transcript Cook’s] Secret instructions. NSW Retrieved from https://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/resources/transcripts/nsw1_doc_1768.pdf

Cook, J. (1770). Cook’s Journal: Daily entries (29 April 1770). Retrieved from http://southseas.nla.gov.au/journals/cook/17700429.html

Common Ground First Nations. Kinship Systems. Retrieved from https://www.commonground.org.au/learn/kinship-systems


  • Intro/Exit music modified from: ‘Grand Canyon’ by LÃHSTANA DAVID [CCFM Music]
  • Digeridoo16sec by visionari1 [CC Freesound]
  • Didgeridoo background modified from: 02-85777-sandyrb & 04-85779_sandyrb [CC Freesound]
  • Featured Image: Kimberly cattle stations [ABC News]
  • Ep 35A image: Best Boabs [ABC; Lana Lana]
  • Ep 35B image: Bandilngan/Windjana Gorge [ABC]