The painstaking work of Professor Lyndall Ryan of the University of Newcastle has produced an online map of massacres of Aboriginal people in Australia over the years 1788-1872 (with more years to come). Ryan’s work has provoked considerable interest from the ABC, NITV, Fairfax and The Guardian -- though not, so far, the Murdoch press. Some of the coverage, notably Calla Wahlquist in The Guardian, refers to overall estimates of the number of deaths, which may be as high as 65,000 in Queensland alone (according to research by Raymond Evans and Robert Orsted-Jensen).

This level of interest may be partly because this is NAIDOC week, partly because Ryan is an articulate spokesperson, partly because her map is interactive, and partly because some of this history is so recent. Those who work in the field mostly mention Coniston, Northern Territory, 1928, as the most recent massacre, but Ryan hints that others may have occurred as late as the 1960s.