To: Australian Electoral Commission

Rename Victoria's Federal Seat of McMillan

Rename Victoria's Federal Seat of McMillan

The use of the name “McMillan” for a federal electorate is inappropriate. Although Angus McMillan made a substantial commitment in opening up Gippsland for development , his involvement in the massacres of Aboriginal people in Gippsland disqualify him as a person that should be honoured in such a way and the undersigned request that this be changed in consultation with the Indigenous Elders of the area.

Why is this important?

Angus McMillan participated in several massacres of Aboriginal people, as recorded by historian Don Watson in his work “Caledonia Australis” published by Williams Collins Pty Ltd, 1984. Peter Gardiner, another historian, has also detailed instances of McMillan’s involvement in massacres of Aboriginal people in his book “Our Founding Murdering Father” 1989 2nd revised edition.

Many government agencies and representatives have made statements on reconciliation and I feel that asking for a name change is appropriate in line with these statements.

The community has become more aware of what the indigenous peoples of Australia have endured since white settlement began two hundred years ago. I am concerned that by continuing to honour the names of people who massacred and mistreated the original inhabitants of this land, the integrity of the reconciliation process is called into question.

We, the undersigned, ask that the name of the federal electorate of McMillan be changed at the next review. It is essential to consult with the Aboriginal people of Gippsland to seek their point of view and wishes in this regard.

How it will be delivered

Hand delivered to the AEC.

Reasons for signing

  • Angus McMillan's treatment of Indingenous Australians was inappropriate. He should not be honoured in this way.
  • It is time to make a change from what we now see as past mistakes and make some reparation.
  • Proud to sign this. Ever since I learned the origin of the name of "Butcher's Creek" in Metung, in my mind, Gippsland, a place I love has a historical and emotional stain that needs to be acknowledged before that stain can be scrubbed clear.


2017-05-22 16:29:20 +1000

500 signatures reached

2016-08-12 17:15:32 +1000

Latrobe City Council backs the renaming of the Mcmillan electorate.

2016-05-22 15:02:23 +1000

Cal Flyn hopes her visits will help heal the inherited wounds
My relative has come to embody some of the very worst excesses of Australian colonial history. And that is saying a lot for a country in which 20,000 of its Indigenous people are estimated to have died during the “frontier wars”, and where, until relatively recent history, tens of thousands of Aboriginal children were separated forcibly from their families and re-homed in orphanages or with white foster families.

2016-04-01 22:09:51 +1100

100 signatures reached

2016-04-01 09:13:36 +1100

50 signatures reached

2016-03-31 20:29:38 +1100

25 signatures reached

2016-03-31 18:34:06 +1100

Electorate of McMillan to be renamed due to associations with Indigenous slaughter

2016-03-31 16:52:36 +1100

10 signatures reached

2016-03-31 15:29:44 +1100

A video on the history of Mcmillan.

2016-03-31 15:29:00 +1100

‘The Lost White Woman of Gippsland’ is an exhibition of recent paintings by Rodney Forbes comprised of twenty paintings exploring the myth of the ‘white woman’, which was circulated by Angus McMillan in the 1840s as a punitive excuse to carry out massacres of Gippsland’s Aboriginal people.

Forbes’ paintings address a difficult and highly emotional subject through paintings that are both dreamlike and surreal. Figures and objects float against Forbes’ trademark palette of luminous colours. While each painting explores a different aspect of the story, which culminates in Aboriginal tribes handing over a mermaid masthead from a wrecked ship, the works may be interpreted in many ways.

2016-03-31 15:10:35 +1100

The black watch, and a verdict of history

2016-03-31 15:09:22 +1100

Gippsland Settlers and the Kurnai dead.

ONE OF GIPPSLAND'S federal electorates is named "McMillan" after the European explorer who founded the province. A local reconciliation group recently asked the Electoral Commission to change the name of the electorate, alleging Angus McMillan was involved in massacres of Gippsland Aborigines. Known as the Kurnai, Gippsland Aborigines numbered about 4000 before European settlement - Gippsland was more densely populated than many other areas because of its fertile climate. The Kurnai were a relatively isolated group, hostile to outsiders both black and white. They became one of the best documented Aboriginal groups, due to the pioneering recording work of the anthropologist Alfred Howitt, who lived in Gippsland.

2016-03-31 15:07:22 +1100

Chris Buckingham, the Labor candidate for Mcmillan says -

"In my opinion we are well overdue for a name change and we should embrace the opportunity to have the conversation as a community about how we wish to be known.

The value in changing the name away from McMillan is recognising the wrongs and making a clear statement as a community that we are for recognition and reconciliation.

We have an opportunity to build consensus and lobby for a name change next year as part of the federal electoral boundary redistribution process."

2016-03-31 15:05:30 +1100

Pauline Durnin, from Warragul, explained that many people did not know the real story of McMillan.“If we are to vote under his title, it’s time we did,” she said.
“It is time to take the honour of the electoral name from Angus McMillan,” she said.
She said the seat should be renamed Gunai Kurnai, the native Aboriginal people of the region.

2016-03-31 15:03:20 +1100

Sonia Weston, the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Cooperation Wonthaggi manager, thinks it is well past time to change the name of the McMillan electorate, in the interests of greater reconciliation.

2016-03-31 15:02:21 +1100

THE federal seat of McMillan encompasses Pakenham in the west and Moe in the east, north as far as Noojee and south to Wilson’s Promontory.

This seat was named in the 1940s after Angus McMillan, a Scotsman from the Isle of Skye and an early explorer of the Gippsland region who took up land as a squatter. McMillan held the land between the Avon and Macalister rivers as the Bushy Park Pastoral Company. It encompassed Newry, Boisdale, Tinamba, Maffra, Briagalong and Stratford.

Angus McMillan has a dreadful history of atrocities committed against the Gunai Kurnai tribes who occupied this area.

2016-03-31 14:52:09 +1100

The Electoral Commission has been asked to rename Victoria's Federal Seat of McMillan, to remove links to the murder of Aboriginal people in Gippsland. The sitting Liberal MP, Russell Broadbent, has written to the Commission asking for the electorate to be renamed the seat of Monash. Sir John Monash developed the use of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley as head of the then state electricity commission. Mr Broadbent says it's no longer appropriate for Angus McMillan's name to be associated with the seat. "It would send a message of practical reconciliation, it would send a message that we actually care about these issues and if we are not responsible to our past, we don't understand our past, we can't get on with our future."
Here's a story published a couple of years ago, looking at the history associated with Angus McMillan: