Rufus River Massacre
The Rufus River Massacre occurred on a bend of Rufus River at Lake Victoria on 27 August 1841. At least 30 Aboriginal people died, caught in a crossfire between police and overlanders. It concluded a six month long guerrilla war by the Aboriginal people, during which they successfully blocked the overlander route through their land.
Rufus River Massacre is imbued with symbolism and multiple references. The land is mapped from above, showing the Rufus connecting Lake Victoria and the Murray River. The massacre took place where the brown overlanders' road (from Sydney to Adelaide) crossed the Rufus. It is placed at the centre of the Union Jack, the invaders' flag, depicted by the universally recognised Aboriginal cross-hatching technique, but the red, white and blue colours are decidedly untraditional. The crosses of the road/river junction and the Union Jack form the central panel of the triptych.