In 1815, with the completion of Cox’s road, European settlers began to cross over the great natural barrier of the Blue Mountains. As more and more settlers arrived in the rich grazing lands around Tarana and Oberon, the dispossession of the original inhabitant’s land gathered momentum.
Earlier Aboriginal durella, to white settlement, by the Sydney Basin People and Dhurug and Tharawul people from the western Sydney area had occurred around the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers. The great resistance fighter Pemulwuy lead up to a thousand warriors in a raid on Saint Mary’s near present day Penrith, burning farms and driving settlers away. So serious was the situation that in 1816 Governor Macquarie announced that measures to control the movements of Aboriginal people were to take effect:
“No Aboriginal person is to appear armed within a mile of any settlement and no more than 6 Aboriginal people are allowed to lurk or loiter near farms”.
The Burra Burra, seeing their traditional food sources driven away, similarly fought back, attacking settlers on the O’Connell Plains. Further west towards Bathurst, the resistance by the Wiradjuri Nation, led by Windradyne, caused Governor Brisbane to declare Martial Law on 14th August 1824. With many of the Burra Burra people killed in clashes, they were compelled to move away from their homelands towards the Lithgow districts, but fighting continued into the 1830’s. The fierce Aboriginal resistance to the occupation of their lands, the extinguishment of their languages and the diminishing of their culture, is only now being recognized as it should be.