Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon is a Sunshine Coast based author. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University. Paul joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1965. On 23 May 1986, he was called to the Bar of New South Wales and practised as a barrister in the Criminal Division of the superior courts of Queensland as counsel for the defence.

Fraser Island Massacre Vrai ou Faux

A group has arisen that claim to be the long-lost tribes and clans of Fraser Island. To that end, they have persuaded the Queensland Labor government to acknowledge their existence and in turn their heredity rights. Accordingly, the Queensland Labor government consented to a grant of native title known as QCD2014/015 – Butchulla People #2 over Fraser Island and recently re-named the area as K’gari. In making that claim the clans have felt it necessary to impeach and defame the forbearers and pioneers of another group of citizens. Whether it was necessary to adopt that approach is another matter. However, in doing so it extended to the offended party the right to at least examine the material put forward by the claimants. But massacre there was none. This book by Paul Dillon is a forensic audit of the modern-day propaganda that has grown up around the politics involved in bringing into existence the political identity known as K’gari.

The Irvinebank Massacre

On the evening of 18 October 1884, a group of at least five Aborigines, were sitting round a camp fire boiling the billy and yarning in blackfellow talk when they were fusilladed. Tommy jumped up and ran for it; followed by the thwacks and zings of the bullets as they whizzed after him. The others stayed where they fell. The next day, Alicky, a town blackboy spoke to John Moffat, a leading citizen about the incident, who asked to be shown the campsite. On reaching the camp, a gruesome scene of partially burnt Aborigines confronted the eyes of Moffat. Driven by curiosity and trepidation, he examined the bodies. One was the body of an old blackfellow, the two others were adult females and one was a picaninny whose sex was unknown. The bodies were lying side by side. Two with their heads one way and the other two in the opposite direction. The fire being in the middle of them. There were no observable marks of violence on the bodies other than that caused by the fire. The faces were turned somewhat downwards and it could not be established whether they were disfigured or not. Mr. Mowbray, the Police Magistrate at Herberton was notified. On 23 October 1884, when he arrived in Irvinebank to conduct an inquest on the bodies of the four Aborigines, all that he found was the remains of a large fire. The fire was still smouldering but no bodies were found. Constable Moroney raked the fire and several pieces of bone were recovered from the ashes. But nothing could be identified. Nevertheless, Mowbray held an inquest and suspicion fell on the native police who were in Irvinebank at the time. The Attorney-General then requested the police to investigate the matter. They arrested the Nigger Creek native police including Sub-Inspector William Nichols, and the rest is history.

The Murder of John Francis Dowling and the Massacre of 300 Aborigines

John Francis Dowling rode out on his trusty steed from the Paroo with his black pilot beside him hoping to make a line to Mt Murchison Station on the Darling. The country was dry and drought had set in. What did he have to fear, only fear itself? He was a bushman. The sun rose gently from the east, southward was his bearing. The morning was cool and all seemed fair and still. Onwards they went and on the fourth day he wrote his log up only to say the blacks could tell him "no more about the springs." He was lost. He never returned. Dowling was found murdered by the blacks. His trusty guide in a moment of madness struck him about his head and crushed his skull and then decamped. How many times must this situation have repeated itself during the early settlement of Australia, no one knows? Arising out of this small tragedy, 300 Aborigines were said to have been massacred by the whites. This book is an attempt to tell that story as best one can with the information that still exists. It’s a simple story but the problem nowadays is by what yard stick should it be told. Should we see it as the loss of a pioneer attempting to settle the Australian outback, attempting to advance Australia. Or is the real story the relentless march of the white man’s livestock trampling the flora and fauna and encroaching on koori country. Who should come first the wool or the environment? John Dowling had a job to do. He never expected to be killed in carrying out the ambitions and aspirations of the white citizens of Queensland. On the other hand, the intrusion of foreign squatters onto the fields and streams of the outback has left a lasting trail of regret in the minds of some.

Inside the Killing Fields:  Hornet Bank, Cullin-a-la-Ringo & The Maria Wreck

Cowboys and Indians, does that mean anything anymore? As a movie genre, it portrayed the white Anglo male as a hero, who sought to assert his authority over nature and all that inhabited it: Indians, rivers, mountains, animals, droughts, floods and gunmen. Were there any Cowboys and Indians in Australia’s colonial past? Perhaps there were similarities. The white man took up the challenge of spreading the gospel and western technology so that he could convert the waste lands of Australia into an agrarian paradise where truth, justice and freedom prevailed against the benighted wilderness that stood menacingly at the farm gate. Did the heroic struggle of taming that wilderness for white settlers bring prosperity and civilisation to this vast land of primordial jungle and ignorance? Is there anything of value in the history of the settlement of Australia or was it just a tawdry bunch of colonial louts and new chums wandering the outback rootin, tootin and shootin? This book looks at a series of tragedies from the colonial past which have become lost symbols of heroism and fortitude. These tragedies were the result of crimes committed against defenceless white settlers. These tragic events should mean more than they do in the fabric of our national heritage but because Australia is such a vast land with so few people and even less national cohesion, they remain forever sideshows in cringe alley.

Bêche-de-mer and and the Binghis

Bêche-de-mer is an edible sea creature used to make soup. These primitive sea creatures are a popular food in several Asian cultures, especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines. During the colonial period of Queensland’s history, Aboriginals were employed to harvest the animals at low tide amongst the coral reefs of Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef. Many hands were required to hunt the exposed reefs and shoals, to wade the rock pools and dive the shallow waters of the fringing reefs. After a day of harvesting the animals, the work parties would return to the employer’s bêche-de-mer station, located on the nearest island, and begin the equally labour-intensive process of bringing the product to a marketable condition so that it might be sold in Hong Kong. These island work camps or “sit-down country” proved to be locations of dissatisfaction where the Aboriginal workforce would, it appears, acutely experience or develop an intense feeling of isolation and disgruntlement through pining and fretting for their tribal country. Consequently, the imperative to return to their tribal haunts and habitats, drove them on occasion to steal vessels and even to murder their overseers. Employing Aboriginals or Binghis, as they were known, proved to be a challenging task knowing that their unpredictability might at any time lead to an outburst of violence, which would not only terminate the contract of labour but also the life of the employer.