Ebenezer Mission, Lake Macquarie

Rev LE Threlkeld transfers his mission from Bahtabah (Reid’s Mistake) on ocean side of Lake Macquarie to his own land grant on western side (1831). “King Boni” and Wallati among others from Wollombi visit Ebenezer Mission (1831)

Up to 90 Aboriginal men from Sydney, Brisbane Water and Lake Macquarie unite with Bushrangers in raids on Threlkeld’s mission and nearby squatters’ farms (1834). The Governor despatches a punitive party. 16 Aboriginal “ringleaders” are committed for trial and Threlkeld sends a messenger to bring in to safety all Aboriginal people living in fear. Threlkeld assisted by Biraban and Kut-ti-run interpret for the courts.

Ebenezer Mission becomes a show place. The visiting United States exploring expedition identifies the site as a “favourite resort of the natives” (1839). The American visitors collect a possum skin cloak and sketch tribal elders including Bi-ra-ban and “King Shingleman Yan”.

Aborigines Fishing by Torchlight on Lake Macquarie and Cooking Fish on Campfires. Joseph Lycett c1817. NLARev Lancelot Edward Threlkeld c1816. SLNSWBi-ra-ban, M'gill. Artist Alfred Agate, US Exploring Expedition 1839.King Shingleman Yan of Lake Macquarie. Artist Alfred Agate c1839.Boardman, Lake Macquarie Tribe c1836. SLNSW

Related Events

Governor posts a 180 pound reward for capture of Aboriginal ringleaders.

Bi-ra-ban: stands punishment as a man of honour

“King” Bi-ra-ban and Boardman guide visiting Quaker missionaries to Lake Macquarie.

Bi-ra-ban: our greatest nineteenth century scholar (video John Maynard)

Kut-ti-run (alias William Bird and “Little Breeches”), My Darkinjung Ancestor (video: Gavi Duncan)

Threlkeld publishers the language spoken in the Lake Macquarie district.

Berntee, Gommera and Yee-oekarlah guide Percy Haslam around Lake Macquarie (1917)

Haslam interviews 90 to 100 year old descendants

Awabakal Coop runs a youth camp to revive Aboriginal culture & pride (1977)


Ebenezer Mission, Lake Macquarie
33° 1' 20.4528" S, 151° 35' 51.4428" E