List of massacres in Australia

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The following is a list of massacres and mass murders that have occurred in Australia and its predecessors (numbers may be approximate).

Many massacres not listed here may instead be found in the list of massacres of indigenous Australians.


Name Date Location Deaths Non-fatal injuries Notes
Shipwreck of the Batavia 1628 Houtman Abrolhos (Western Australia) 110 Many Dutch shipwreck survivors are murdered by a break-away group of survivors.
Cape Grim massacre 10 February 1828 Cape Grim, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) 30 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians by four shepherds.
Convincing Ground massacre 1833–34 Portland, Victoria 60–200 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians after a heated dispute between whalers and Aboriginal tribes.
Pinjarra massacre 28 October 1834 Pinjarra, Western Australia 14–40 Massacre by British colonists led by Governor Stirling against the Pinjarup people.
Waterloo Creek massacre/Slaughterhouse Creek massacre January 1838 Waterloo Creek, NSW 40–70 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians as part of a clash between mounted police and Indigenous Australians.
Hospital Creek Massacre 1859 Brewarrina, NSW 300-400 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians. A stockman at Walcha Hut on the Lawson run was warned by Aborigines to release an Aboriginal woman. He refused, and both he and the woman were killed. In retaliation, the settlers shot a large number of Aboriginal men, women and children in what became known as the Hospital Creek Massacre.
Myall Creek massacre 10 June 1838 Myall Creek, NSW 27-30 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians. The attack was racially motivated, and subsequently the colonists who carried out the attack were hanged.
Murdering Gully massacre 1839 Mount Emu Creek, near Camperdown, Victoria 35–40 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians undertaken by Frederick Taylor apparently in retaliation to Aborigines having killed the colonists' sheep.
Campaspe Plains massacre June 1839 Campaspe Creek, Central Victoria up to 40 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians led by commander Charles Hutton as a reprisal raid against Aboriginal resistance to the invasion and occupation of their lands.
Shipwreck survivors of the Maria massacred 1840 Coorong, SA 25 Ship travelling from Port Adelaide to Hobart was shipwrecked on the SE coast of South Australia, with all surviving the wreck. The survivors were being guided to safety by the local Narrindjeri people, but were massacred.
Gippsland massacres 1840-1850 Gippsland, VIC 300-1000 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians, combined with the introduction of diseases by the British Colonists which also contributed to the heavy losses of the Aborigines. The technical superiority of the Europeans' weapons gave the Europeans an absolute advantage over the Aborigines and, as a result, very few white settlers died during the course of the massacres.
Cullin-la-ringo massacre 17 October 1861 Central Queensland 19 0 Massacre of newly-arrived white settlers by Indigenous Australians. In response, "sixty or seventy" Aborigines were massacred by a vigilante party of eleven heavily armed white settlers accompanied by two Aboriginal trackers.[1]
Flying Foam massacre February–May 1868 Flying Foam Passage, WA 20–150 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians after a series of confrontations between white settlers and Aboriginal people near the Flying Foam Passage.
Palmer massacre August 1878 Palmer River, Queensland 20–150 Unknown Massacre by Cantonese and Pekinese against each other.[2]
Ching family murders 16 November 1911 Alligator Creek, Mackay, Queensland 6 0 George David Silva murdered six members of the Ching family by shooting and bashing. Silva was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 10 June 1912.
Battle of Broken Hill 1 January 1915 Broken Hill, New South Wales 4 7 Spree shooting by two Ghans gunmen - Terror attack - by modern definition.[3][better source needed]
Mowla Bluff massacre 1916 Kimberley, Western Australia Up to 12[4] 0 Massacre of Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Men, women and children were rounded up and subsequently shot and their bodies burned.
Forrest River massacre May–July 1926 Kimberley Region of Western Australia 11 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians by law enforcement.
Coniston massacre 14 August – 18 October 1928 Coniston, Northern Territory 60–170 Unknown Probably the last known massacre of Indigenous Australians.
Boulder & Kalgoorlie bombings 1 February 1942 Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia 14 15 Bombing of a boarding house containing 30 people in Boulder, Western Australia.[5]
Hope Forest massacre 6 September 1971 Hope Forest, SA 10 0 Rampage killing by Clifford Bartholomew, who shot dead ten members of his family.[6]
Whiskey Au Go Go fire 8 March 1973 Fortitude Valley, Queensland 15 Unknown Arson attack that killed 15 people and injured many more at a nightclub.
Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing 13 February 1978 Sydney, New South Wales 5 11 Terrorism, bomb attack on hotel where world leaders were staying. 2 garbage collectors and 1 police officer died.
Campsie murders 24 September 1981 Campsie, New South Wales 5 0 Rampage killing by Fouad Daoud, who shot dead five members of his family before killing himself.[7]
Inland Motel murders 18 August 1983 Uluru, Northern Territory 5 16 Vehicular attack by Douglas Crabbe, who drove a truck into the bar of the Inland Motel after being refused service.[8]
Wahroonga murders 1 June 1984 Wahroonga, New South Wales 5 0 Rampage killing by John Brandon, who shot dead five members of his family before killing himself.[9]
Milperra massacre 2 September 1984 Milperra, New South Wales 7 28 Shootout between two rival motorcycle gangs. One bystander was among those killed in the incident.
Top End Shootings June 1987 Top End, Northern Territory 5 Spree killing by Joseph Schwab over a five-day period. Shot dead by police.
Hoddle Street massacre 9 August 1987 Clifton Hill, Victoria 7 19 A spree shooting by Julian Knight.
Canley Vale Huynh family murders 10 October 1987 Canley Vale, New South Wales 5 Rampage killing by John Tran, who shot dead five members of a family.
Queen Street massacre 8 December 1987 Melbourne, Victoria 8 5 A spree shooting/murder–suicide by Frank Vitkovic.
Oenpelli shootings 25 September 1988 Oenpelli, Northern Territory 6 0 Rampage killing by Dennis Rostron, shooting six members of his family at a remote Arnhem Land outstation in Oenpelli.[10]
Surry Hills shootings 30 August 1990 Surry Hills, New South Wales 5 7 A spree shooting by Paul Anthony Evers who killed five people and injured seven with a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun at a public housing precinct in Surry Hills before surrendering to police.[11]
Strathfield massacre 17 August 1991 Strathfield, New South Wales 7 6 A spree shooting/murder–suicide by Wade Frankum.
Central Coast massacre 27 October 1992 Terrigal, New South Wales 6 1 A spree shooting by Malcolm George Baker.
Greenough Family Massacre 21 February 1993 Greenough, Western Australia 4 0 William Patrick Mitchell (Bill Mitchell) murdered Karen MacKenzie and her three children with an axe at their remote rural property in Greenough, Western Australia.
1993 Cangai siege March 1993 Cangai, New South Wales 5 0 Leonard Leabeater, Robert Steele and Raymond Bassett went on a nine-day rampage resulting in their taking hostages in a siege in a farmhouse at Hanging Rock Station in Cangai.
Hillcrest murders 25 January 1996 Hillcrest, Queensland 6 0 Rampage killing by Peter May, who shot dead six members of his family before killing himself.[12]
Port Arthur massacre 28 April 1996 Port Arthur, Tasmania 35 24 A spree shooting by Martin Bryant.
Murder suicide 28 June 1997 Richmond, Tasmania 5 Peter Shoobridge cut the throats of his four daughters whilst they slept then took his own life with a rifle after cutting off one of his hands with an axe.[13]
Wright St Bikie murders 8 October 1999 Adelaide, Australia 3 2 Hell's Angels feud (mass shooting).[14]
Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire 23 June 2000 Childers, Queensland 15 unknown Arson attack by Robert Paul Long, which killed 15 international backpackers.
Monash University shooting 21 October 2002 Melbourne, Victoria 2 5 Mass shooting attack by Huan Yun "Allen" Xiang.
Singh family murders 22 April 2003 Brisbane, Australia 3 Triple homicide of Singh siblings by the eldest sisters boyfirend, Max Sica.[15]
Poulson family murders 15 September 2003 Wilberforce, New South Wales 4 Four-year-old Marilyn, one-year-old Sebastian and their grandfather Peter were murdered by Phitack Kongsom, who then killed himself.[16]
Oakhampton Heights Shooting 20 March 2005 Hunter Valley, New South Wales 4 Mass shooting attack and familicide . Sally Winter uses a firearm to kill her husband, two children, and herself.[17]
Churchill Fire 7 February 2009 Churchill, Victoria 10 unknown Arson attack by Brendan Sokaluk that killed ten people, during the Black Saturday bushfires period.
Lin family murders 18 July 2009 North Epping, New South Wales 5 unknown Blunt instrument attack that killed five members of the Lin family.
2011 Hectorville siege 29 April 2011 Hectorville, South Australia 3 3 Siege attack where Anthony Carbo murdered three people and injured three more including two police officers.
Quakers Hill nursing home fire 18 November 2011 Sydney, NSW 11 Arson attack by Roger Kingsley Dean, a nurse, which killed 11 people.
Rozelle fire murders 4 September 2014 Rozelle, New South Wales 3 2 Arson murder by Adeel Khan which killed three and injured another two.[18]
Hunt family murders 9 September 2014 Lockhart, New South Wales 5 0 A mass shooting and familicide by Geoff Hunt who killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself.
Wedderburn shooting 23 October 2014 Wedderburn, Victoria 3 0 A mass shooting and siege by Ian Francis Jamieson who shot a husband and wife, after stabbing their son to death.
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15 - 16 December 2014 Sydney, NSW 3 1 Siege. A lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held hostage twenty customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place for 16 hours. The NSW Police Tactical Operations Unit shot Monis dead, after he executed a hostage. In the exchange, one person was hit by police bullet fragments, causing accidental death.
Cairns child killings 19 December 2014 Cairns, Queensland 8 1 (self-inflicted by perpetrator) Stabbing attack and Familicide. Eight children aged 18 months to 15 years killed. Thirty-seven-year-old woman also found injured. The woman, Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, was later charged with the murder of the children, seven of whom were hers, plus her niece.[19]
January 2017 Melbourne car attack 20 January 2017 Melbourne, Victoria 6 30 Vehicular attack. Dimitrious Gargasoulas allegedly drove a Holden Commodore into Bourke St Mall, resulting in the deaths of six people and injuring 30+ others. Should not be confused with the December 2017 Melbourne car attack which only killed one person.
Osmington shooting 11 May 2018 Osmington, Western Australia 7 0 A murder-suicide, with three adults and four children killed. A grandfather shot his four grandchildren at their home, his daughter, his wife, and then himself.[20]
September 2018 Bedford massacre 9 September 2018 Bedford, Western Australia 5 0 Five people were found murdered in a house in the suburb of Bedford near Perth. The victims were two women, one girl aged 3, and two girls aged 18 months. Should not be confused with the 1879 Cape Bedford Massacre against aboriginal people.

Murders over an extended period of time[edit]

  • Eric Edgar Cooke murdered 8 people between 1959 and 1963.
  • Backpacker murders – Ivan Milat killed seven international backpackers in the early 1990s, and is widely suspected of killing 30 more young adults.
  • Melbourne gangland killings – 36 underworld figures murdered in gang related violence between 1998 and 2010.
  • Snowtown murders – 12 murders committed from 1992 until 1999.
  • John Wayne Glover – murders of six elderly women on Sydney's North Shore over a fourteen-month period in 1989–90.
  • Truro murders – murders of seven women from 1976 until 1977.
  • William Fraser - murders of at least 100 men, women and children between 1857-1867.

Many injuries few deaths[edit]

  • Russell Street bombing – 23 wounded when a car bomb ignites outside a Police Building. One of the wounded, a female police officer, died later of injuries from the explosion.
  • December 2017 Melbourne car attack - man drove a car into pedestrians, injuring 18 people (including himself) and killing 1.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 1861-12-11. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  2. ^ Manning Clark, A History of Australia. Vol IV, p 353
  3. ^ Battle of Broken Hill
  4. ^ Stephens, Tony (20 May 2002). "Closing the circle on a bloody chapter", The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  5. ^ Peter Skehan. "1942 Boulder & Kalgoorlie Bombings". The Western Australian Police Historical Society.
  6. ^ "Father charged after 10 killed". The Age. 7 September 1971.
  7. ^ "Thrown out of house three days before family was killed Daoud got gun licence from Campsie police". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 October 1981.
  8. ^ R v Crabbe [2004] NTSC 63, Supreme Court (NT)
  9. ^ "Man killed his family to spare them 'disgrace'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 June 1984.
  10. ^ Dillon, Meagan (31 January 2013). "Killer sentenced to life after shooting five could be released". ntnews.
  11. ^ "Recent random mass shootings in Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. 21 October 2002. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  12. ^ Young, Lisa "Victory for Brisbane women's services"
  13. ^ 9:38am (2015-09-08). "Peter Shoobridge: 'Tasmanian devil' Poet murdered his four daughters". Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Massimo Sica". Wikipedia. 2018-05-07.
  16. ^ "Killer the perfect son: mother tells - National -". Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  17. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Convenience store owner Adeel Khan jailed for Rozelle fire deaths". news. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  19. ^ "Australia Cairns: Mother charged with eight murders". BBC News. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Four children, three adults found shot dead in Margaret River murder-suicide". ABC News. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.