List of massacres in Australia

This is a list of massacres and mass murders that have occurred in Australia and its predecessor colonies (some historical numbers may be approximate). Many of the massacres not listed here may instead be found in the list of massacres of Indigenous Australians.


Name Date Location Deaths Non-fatal injuries Notes
Batavia massacre 1629 Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia 110+ Unknown Massacre of survivors after the sinking of Dutch merchant ship Batavia following a mutiny.
Cape Grim massacre 10 February 1828 Cape Grim, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) 30 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians by four shepherds.
Convincing Ground massacre 1833–1834 Portland, Victoria 60–200 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians after a heated dispute between whalers and Aboriginal tribes.
Pinjarra massacre 28 October 1834 Pinjarra, Western Australia 14–40 Massacre by British colonists led by Governor Stirling against the Pinjarup people.
Slaughterhouse Creek massacre January 1838 Waterloo Creek, New South Wales 40–70 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians as part of a clash between mounted police and Indigenous Australians.
Myall Creek massacre 10 June 1838 Myall Creek, New South Wales 27-30 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians. The attack was racially motivated, and subsequently the colonists who carried out the attack were hanged.
Murdering Gully massacre 1839 Mount Emu Creek, near Camperdown, Victoria 35–40 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians undertaken by Frederick Taylor apparently in retaliation to Aboriginals having killed the colonists' sheep.
Campaspe Plains massacre June 1839 Campaspe Creek, Central Victoria up to 40 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians led by commander Charles Hutton as a reprisal raid against Aboriginal resistance to the invasion and occupation of their lands.
Shipwreck survivors of the Maria massacred 1840 Coorong, South Australia 25 Ship travelling from Port Adelaide to Hobart was shipwrecked on the SE coast of South Australia, with all surviving the wreck. The survivors were being guided to safety by the local Narrindjeri people, but were massacred by them.
Fighting Hills massacre 1840 Wando Vale, Victoria 40 - 80 Unknown Massacre of indigenous Australians led by the Whyte brothers and servants of Victoria's western district.
Fighting Waterholes massacre 1840 Coleraine, Victoria up to 60 Unknown Second massacre of indigenous Australians by the Whyte brothers and servants of Victoria's western district.
Gippsland massacres 1840–1850 Gippsland, Victoria 300-1000 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians, combined with the introduction of diseases by the British Colonists which also contributed to the heavy losses of the Aboriginals. The technical superiority of the Europeans' weapons gave the Europeans an absolute advantage over the Aboriginals and, as a result, very few white settlers died during the course of the massacres.
Hospital Creek massacre 1859 Brewarrina, New South Wales 300-400 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians. A stockman at Walcha Hut on the Lawson run was warned by Aboriginals to release an Aboriginal woman. He refused, and both he and the woman were killed. In retaliation, the settlers shot a large number of Aboriginal men, women and children in what became known as the Hospital Creek Massacre.
Cullin-la-ringo massacre 17 October 1861 Central Queensland 19 0 Massacre of newly arrived white settlers by Indigenous Australians. In response, "sixty or seventy" Aboriginals were massacred by a vigilante party of eleven heavily armed white settlers accompanied by two Aboriginal trackers.[1]
Flying Foam massacre February–May 1868 Flying Foam Passage, WA 20–150 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians after a series of confrontations between white settlers and Aboriginal people near the Flying Foam Passage.
Unnamed 26 November 1905 (approx) Victoria River, Northern Territory 7 0 Four white men and three Aboriginal boys massacred with tomahawks by Aboriginal prisoners being transported by boat to Palmerston to stand trial for the earlier murder of two white men. One Aboriginal boy survived and reported the incident.[2]
Ching family murders 16 November 1911 Alligator Creek, Mackay, Queensland 6 0 George David Silva murdered six members of the Ching family by shooting and bashing. Silva was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 10 June 1912.
Battle of Broken Hill 1 January 1915 Broken Hill, New South Wales 4 7 Spree shooting by two Ghans gunmen – Terror attack – by modern definition.[3][circular reference]
Mowla Bluff massacre 1916 Kimberley, Western Australia Up to 12[4] 0 Massacre of Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Men, women and children were rounded up and subsequently shot and their bodies burned.
Botanic garden massacre 1924 Melbourne 4 ? Mass shooting
Forrest River massacre May–July 1926 Kimberley Region of Western Australia 11 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians by law enforcement.
Coniston massacre 14 August – 18 October 1928 Coniston cattle station 60–170 Unknown Massacre led by Northern Territory police constable William George Murray. The last known officially sanctioned massacre of Indigenous Australians.
Boulder & Kalgoorlie bombings 1 February 1942 Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia 14 15 Bombing of a boarding house containing 30 people in Boulder, Western Australia.[5]
Narella Street massacre 18 February 1957 Brisbane, Queensland 6 1 Marian Ryszard Majka killed 6 & injured a baby in two houses on Narella Street in Brisbane before taking his own life.
Hope Forest massacre 6 September 1971 Hope Forest, South Australia 10 0 Rampage killing by Clifford Bartholomew, who shot dead ten members of his family.[6]
Whiskey Au Go Go fire 8 March 1973 Fortitude Valley, Queensland 15 Unknown Arson attack that killed 15 people and injured many more at a nightclub.
Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing 13 February 1978 Sydney 3 11 Terrorism, bomb attack on hotel where world leaders were staying. 2 garbage collectors and 1 police officer died.
Campsie murders 24 September 1981 Campsie, New South Wales 5 0 Rampage killing by Fouad Daoud, who shot dead five members of his family before killing himself.[7]
Party Shooting Spree 18 April 1982 Canley Heights, New South Wales 2 8 Peter Sinfield, his brother Derek Sinfield along with friend Adrian John Mills, armed variously but Peter Sinfield with a rifle, gatecrashed a party and fired several shots that killed two people and severely wounding eight others.
Inland Motel murders 18 August 1983 Uluru, Northern Territory 5 16 Vehicular attack by Douglas Crabbe, who drove a truck into the bar of the Inland Motel after being refused service.[8]
Wahroonga murders 1 June 1984 Wahroonga, New South Wales 5 0 Rampage killing by John Brandon, who shot dead five members of his family before killing himself.[9]
Milperra massacre 2 September 1984 Milperra, New South Wales 7 28 Shootout between two rival motorcycle gangs. One bystander was among those killed in the incident.
Pymble shooting 23 January 1987 Pymble, New South Wales 4 Richard Maddrell went to the family home of his former girlfriend, shot her and 3 others.[10]
Top End Shootings June 1987 Top End, Northern Territory 6 (Including perpetrator) Spree killing by Joseph Schwab over a five-day period. Shot dead by police.
Hoddle Street massacre 9 August 1987 Clifton Hill, Victoria 7 19 A spree shooting by Julian Knight.
Canley Vale Huynh family murders 10 October 1987 Canley Vale, New South Wales 5 Rampage killing by John Tran, who shot dead five members of a family.
Queen Street massacre 8 December 1987 Melbourne 8 5 A spree shooting/murder–suicide by Frank Vitkovic.
Oenpelli shootings 25 September 1988 Oenpelli, Northern Territory 5 0 Rampage killing by Dennis Rostron, shooting five members of his family at a remote Arnhem Land outstation in Oenpelli.[11][12]
Surry Hills shootings 30 August 1990 Surry Hills, New South Wales 5 7 A spree shooting by Paul Anthony Evers who killed five people and injured seven with a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun at a public housing precinct in Surry Hills before surrendering to police.[13]
Strathfield massacre 17 August 1991 Strathfield, New South Wales 7 6 A spree shooting/murder–suicide by Wade Frankum.
Central Coast massacre 27 October 1992 Terrigal, New South Wales 6 1 A spree shooting by Malcolm George Baker.
Greenough Family massacre 21 February 1993 Greenough, Western Australia 4 0 William Patrick Mitchell (Bill Mitchell) murdered Karen MacKenzie and her three children with an axe at their remote rural property in Greenough, Western Australia.
1993 Cangai siege March 1993 Cangai, New South Wales 5 0 Leonard Leabeater, Robert Steele and Raymond Bassett went on a nine-day rampage resulting in their taking hostages in a siege in a farmhouse at Hanging Rock Station in Cangai.
Wollongong Knife Murders 1994 Wollongong, New South Wales 4 0 Ljube Velevski, used a knife to kill his wife and three children in their Berkeley home near Wollongong in 1994.[14]
Hillcrest murders 25 January 1996 Hillcrest, Queensland 6 0 Murder-suicide Mass shooting familicide. Peter May shot dead six members of his family before killing himself.[15]
Port Arthur massacre 28 April 1996 Port Arthur, Tasmania 35 24 A spree shooting by Martin Bryant.
Murder suicide 28 June 1997 Richmond, Tasmania 5 (Including perpetrator) 0 Peter Shoobridge cut the throats of his four daughters whilst they slept then took his own life with a rifle after cutting off one of his hands with an axe.[16]
Wright St Bikie murders 8 October 1999 Adelaide, Australia 3 2 Hell's Angels feud (mass shooting).[17]
Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire 23 June 2000 Childers, Queensland 15 unknown Arson attack by Robert Paul Long, which killed 15 international backpackers.
North Ryde triple murder 10 July 2001 North Ryde, New South Wales 3 0 Sef Gonzales killed both parents and sister by bashing, strangling and stabbing.[18]
Monash University shooting 21 October 2002 Melbourne 2 5 Mass shooting attack by Huan Yun "Allen" Xiang. The perpetrator was acquitted due to mental illness, is in permanent psychiatric care.
Singh family murders 22 April 2003 Brisbane, Australia 3 0 Triple homicide of Singh siblings by the eldest sisters boyfriend, Max Sica.[19]
Poulson family murders 15 September 2003 Wilberforce, New South Wales 4 (Including perpetrator) 0 Four-year-old Marilyn, one-year-old Sebastian and their grandfather Peter were murdered by Phitack Kongsom, who then killed himself.[20]
Oakhampton Heights Shooting 20 March 2005 Hunter Valley, New South Wales 4 (Including perpetrator) 0 Mass shooting attack and familicide. Sally Winter uses a firearm to kill her husband, two children, and herself.[21]
Winchelsea drowning 4 September 2005 Winchelsea, Victoria 3 Robert Farquharson deliberately drove his car into a dam drowning his three sons.[22]
Annerley arson February 2006 Annerley, Queensland 3 Errol Graham Hayes set fire to the Annerley home shared by former lawyer Theresa Marchetti, their son Joshua and her then partner Mark Christensen killing all three.[23][24]
Churchill Fire 7 February 2009 Churchill, Victoria 10 unknown Arson attack by Brendan Sokaluk that killed ten people, during the Black Saturday bushfires period.
Lin family murders 18 July 2009 North Epping, New South Wales 5 unknown Blunt instrument attack that killed five members of the Lin family.
2011 Hectorville siege 29 April 2011 Hectorville, South Australia 3 3 Siege shotgun attack where Anthony Carbo murdered three people and injured three more including two police officers.
Quakers Hill nursing home fire 18 November 2011 Sydney 11 Arson attack by Roger Kingsley Dean, a nurse, which killed 11 people.
Rozelle fire murders 4 September 2014 Rozelle, New South Wales 3 2 Arson murder by Adeel Khan which killed three and injured another two.[25]
Hunt family murders 9 September 2014 Lockhart, New South Wales 5 0 Murder-suicide, mass shooting, familicide. Geoff Hunt killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself.
Wedderburn shooting 23 October 2014 Wedderburn, Victoria 3 0 Mass shooting, stabbing, siege. Ian Francis Jamieson who shot a husband and wife, after stabbing their son to death then initiated a siege.
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15–16 December 2014 Sydney, New South Wales 3 (Including perpetrator) 1 Siege. A lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held hostage twenty customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place for 16 hours. Over the course of the 16 hours, Monis would attempt to negotiate demands through different platforms such as calling 000, speaking with ABC radio and other media outlets.[26] At 2:03 AM Monis attempts to move hostages around the Cafe, this led to six hostages attempting to escape. Monis becomes quickly agitated and executes a hostage. During the execution, A hostage escapes. Within seconds after the hostage is executed, Police storm the cafe. Monis is shot dead, a hostage is fatally injured from accidental fragmentation and three other hostages suffered injuries due to the police raid, alongside one of the sieging officers whom suffered moderate injuries.[27]
Cairns child killings 19 December 2014 Cairns, Queensland 8 1 (self-inflicted by suspect) Stabbing attack and Familicide. Eight children aged 18 months to 15 years killed. Thirty-seven-year-old woman also found injured. The woman, Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, was later charged with the murder of the children, seven of whom were hers, plus her niece.[28]
2015 Parramatta shooting 2 October 2015 New South Wales 2 (Including perpetrator) 0 Terrorist attack, Shooting on the New South Wales Police Force headquarters in Parramatta, Sydney, Australia. Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar (15 Years Old) shot and killed unarmed police civilian finance worker Curtis Cheng. Following the murder, Farhad entered a shootout with the police, shortly being shot dead by two Special Constables.[29]
Port Lincoln murders 4 January 2016 South Australia 3 0 Murder-suicide, familicide. Father shot his two sons, then himself, while driving car into the sea.
Northern Sydney gassing 17 October 2016 Davidson, New South Wales 4 Murder-suicide, familicide. Fernando Manrique used carbon monoxide gas to kill himself, his wife and their two children.[30]
January 2017 Melbourne car attack 20 January 2017 Melbourne 6 27 Vehicular attack. Dimitrious (James) Gargasoulas drove a Holden Commodore into Bourke St Mall, resulting in the deaths of six people and injuring 27 others. Should not be confused with the December 2017 Melbourne car attack which only killed one person.
2017 Footscray arson attack March 2017 Footscray, Victoria 3 Arson attack. Darren Patrick Glover murdered three people by setting fire to a disused factory in Footscray. He killed his former partner Tanya Burmeister, 32, her boyfriend David Griffiths, 39, and Ms Burmeister's 15-year-old daughter Zoe, who were squatting in the old Kinnears rope factory in March 2017.[31]
2017 Brighton siege 5 June 2017 Brighton, Melbourne 2 (Including Perpetrator) 3 Siege, shooting, lone wolf terrorist attack. On June 5, 2017 Yacqub Khayre ordered a female sex worker to the Buckingham International Serviced Apartments. The woman was taken hostage in Apartment 11, being held captive in the bathroom.[32] Yacqub left the apartment and murdered a receptionist in the foyer. The hostage managed to call the Victorian Police via (000)[33]

Khayre attempted to tamper / destroy his GPS anklet before calling 000 to state that he has killed a receptionist and that nobody is to attend at his Apartment 11 or the hostage will be shot dead.[34] Specialist police attended the ongoing attack, the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) arrived first, followed by the Special Operations Group (SOG)

Khayre made a phone call to Seven News and stated "This is for Islamic State, this is for Al-Qaeda."[35] Khayre entered a shootout with police, injuring 3 Specialist Officers, before being shortly shot dead.

Osmington shooting 11 May 2018 Osmington, Western Australia 7 0 Murder-suicide, mass shooting, familicide. A grandfather shot his four grandchildren at their home, his daughter, his wife, and then himself.[36]
Hills District murders 5 July 2018 West Pennant Hills, New South Wales 3 0 Murder-suicide, familicide. Estranged husband John Edwards, 68, shot his two children (Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13) at their home, then returned to his nearby home (Normanhurst NSW) and shot himself. Around 5 months later, their mother Olga, 36, was found deceased during a Police welfare check.[37]
Ellenbrook murders 15 July 2018 Ellenbrook, Western Australia 3 Murder of a mother, son and daughter allegedly by Teancum Vernon Petersen-Crofts who was remanded to secure Frankland Centre unit at Graylands Hospital.[38]
September 2018 Bedford massacre 9 September 2018 Bedford, Western Australia 5 0 Stabbing, familicide. Five people were fatally stabbed or bashed in a house in the suburb of Bedford near Perth. The victims were two women, one girl aged 3, and two girls aged 18 months.[39] In April 2019, 25-year-old Anthony Harvey pled guilty to murdering his 5 family members.[40] Should not be confused with the 1879 Cape Bedford Massacre against aboriginal people.
2018 Melbourne stabbing attack 9 November 2018 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia 2 (Including Perpetrator) 2 Stabbing. The single attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali set his car alight and indiscriminately stabbed 3 people at Bourke Street. Police state that Propane Gas Cylinders were in the burning vehicle, however they did not explode.[41] Shortly following the stabbings, Hassan was fatally shot by Victorian Police.[42]
Melbourne triple shooting 1 March 2019 Melbourne 1 2 Mass shooting. 3 men were shot outside the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington. As of May 2019, 3 men were arrested in connection with the incident.[43]
2019 Darwin shooting 4 June 2019 Darwin, Northern Territory 4 1 Spree shooting. Four people were killed and one person was critically injured in the leg in a mass shooting allegedly carried out with a prohibited pump-action (Category C) shotgun. The alleged shooter, 45-year-old Benjamin Glenn Hoffman, has been charged with four counts of murder. The alleged shooter had been released from prison on parole in January 2019 and was wearing a GPS-tracked electronic monitoring bracelet as a condition of his parole.[44]
Melbourne nightclub shooting 14 April 2019 Melbourne 2 4 Drive-by shooting. A man sprayed bullets from a car outside Love Machine nightclub. One man arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact.[45]
2019 Sydney CBD stabbings 13 August 2019 Sydney 1 1 A mass Stabbing in Sydney's Central Business District. Mert Ney, The man charged with the stabbing is alleged to have been previously involved in Paid Sexual Services with the murder victim, Michaela Dunn.[46] Following Michaela's murder, Mert Ney is alleged to have walked onto the street and indiscriminately stabbed Linda Bo before jumping onto random cars, yelling and threatening the public. Mert was disarmed and restrained on the road by bystanders, shortly after being arrested and charged for the crime.[47][48] After investigation, Mert Ney was additionally charged with Drug and Child Abuse Material Possession.[49]
Camp Hill carjacking 19 February 2020 Camp Hill, Queensland 5 (including perputrator) Domestic violence incident. Rowan Baxter sets fire to his estranged wife's car, killing all four occupants, before committing suicide at the scene.
Point Cook arson 2 December 2020 Point Cook, Victoria 3 Arson attack. A 28-year-old Indian national, his 19-year-old girlfriend, and their three-week-old daughter were killed in a fire. A 46-year-old woman has been charged with murder, and is believed to have set the house on fire in retaliation against another occupant of the complex.[50][51]
Tullamarine murders 14 January 2021 Tullamarine, Victoria 4 (including perpetrator) Katie Perinovic murders her three children, aged 7, 5 and 3, before committing suicide. Her husband was unharmed in the attack. The perpetrator was reported to have been through depression in the months leading to the murder-suicide.[52]

Largest massacresEdit

Name Date Location Deaths Non-fatal injuries Notes
Batavia massacre 1629 Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia 110+ Unknown Massacre of survivors after the sinking of Dutch merchant ship Batavia following a mutiny.
Convincing Ground massacre 1833–34 Portland, Victoria 60–200 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians after a heated dispute between whalers and Aboriginal tribes.
Pinjarra massacre 28 October 1834 Pinjarra, Western Australia 14–40 Massacre of the Pinjarup people by British colonists led by Governor Stirling.
Port Arthur massacre 28 April 1996 Port Arthur, Tasmania 35 24 A spree shooting by Martin Bryant.
Cape Grim massacre 10 February 1828 Cape Grim, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) 30 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians by four shepherds.

Attacks causing multiple non-fatal injuriesEdit

Mass violent attacks which caused many injuries but few deaths.

  • Sydney Yugoslav General Trade and Tourist Agency bombing – in 1972, 16 people were wounded by a bomb planted at Yugoslav tourism agencies. Nobody was killed.
  • Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing – in 1978, a bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, injuring 11 people and killing 3.
  • Russell Street bombing – in 1986, 23 people were wounded when a car bomb ignited outside a Police Building. One of the wounded, a female police officer, died later of injuries from the explosion.
  • 1991 Coffs Harbour Shooting – on June 19, 1991, a 13-year-old student, who was sent home earlier in the day as punishment for misbehaviour, returned to the school with his father's gun hidden under his coat. He opened fire on a large crowd of around 1000 people gathered on the school's sport field, watching a track and field competition. Two teachers and one student were injured before the shooter was overpowered by two senior students.[53]
  • 2007 Melbourne CBD shootings – in 2007, a Hell's Angels member shot 3 people, 1 of whom died.
  • December 2017 Melbourne car attack – in December 2017, a man drove a car into pedestrians, injuring 18 people (including himself) and killing 1. Should not be confused with the January 2017 Melbourne car attack.

Murders over an extended period of timeEdit

See alsoEdit

Indigenous massacres and conflicts:




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