The Appin massacre occurred in the early hours of the morning of 17 April 1816, the outcome of a military reprisal raid against Aboriginal people ordered by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. At least 14 Aboriginal men, women and children were killed when soldiers under the command of Captain James Wallis shot at and drove a group of Aboriginal people over the gorge of the Cataract River.
The Appin massacre is often said to mark the end of hostilities on the Cumberland Plain, a war that began in the early 1790s when settlers began to take land for farms, and continued in cycles as they expanded into new areas. However violent incidents continued until at least August 1816 and only ceased after Macquarie's instigation of alternate policies – banishment, and then amnesty for the Aboriginal leaders.
Since 2000 the Appin massacre has been commemorated annually at a memorial service at Cataract Dam. (Dictionary of Sydney)
Please note: The memorial service involves a short walk to the site. Please remember to wear appropriate footwear, bring a hat, sunscreen and bottled water. There is limited seating available so you're welcome to bring a fold up chair if needed.