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The following is a list of massacres and mass murders that have occurred in Australia and its predecessors (numbers may be approximate).

Many massacres not listed here may instead be found in the list of massacres of indigenous Australians.

For attacks which injured many people but didn't kill very many people, see below.



Name Date Location Deaths Non-fatal injuries Notes
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 1833–34 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 by British colonists led by Governor Stirling against the Pinjarup people.
Waterloo Creek massacre/Slaughterhouse Creek massacre January 1838 Waterloo Creek, NSW 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, NSW 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 Aborigines 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, SA 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.
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, VIC 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 Aborigines. The technical superiority of the Europeans' weapons gave the Europeans an absolute advantage over the Aborigines and, as a result, very few white settlers died during the course of the massacres.
Hospital Creek Massacre 1859 Brewarrina, NSW 300-400 Unknown Massacre of Indigenous Australians. A stockman at Walcha Hut on the Lawson run was warned by Aborigines 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" Aborigines 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.
Palmer massacre August 1878 Palmer River, Queensland 20–150 Unknown Massacre by Cantonese and Pekinese against each other.[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.
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, Northern Territory 60–170 Unknown Probably the last known 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]
Hope Forest massacre 6 September 1971 Hope Forest, SA 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, New South Wales 5 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, NSW 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 5 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, Victoria 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.
Hillcrest murders 25 January 1996 Hillcrest, Queensland 6 0 Rampage killing by Peter May, who shot dead six members of his family before killing himself.[14]
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 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.[15]
Wright St Bikie murders 8 October 1999 Adelaide, Australia 3 2 Hell's Angels feud (mass shooting).[16]
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, NSW triple murder. 10 July 2001 North Ryde, N.S.W. 3 Sef Gonzales killed both parents and sister by bashing, strangling and stabbing.[17]
Monash University shooting 21 October 2002 Melbourne, Victoria 2 5 Mass shooting attack by Huan Yun "Allen" Xiang.
Singh family murders 22 April 2003 Brisbane, Australia 3 Triple homicide of Singh siblings by the eldest sisters boyfirend, Max Sica.[18]
Poulson family murders 15 September 2003 Wilberforce, New South Wales 4 Four-year-old Marilyn, one-year-old Sebastian and their grandfather Peter were murdered by Phitack Kongsom, who then killed himself.[19]
Oakhampton Heights Shooting 20 March 2005 Hunter Valley, New South Wales 4 Mass shooting attack and familicide. Sally Winter uses a firearm to kill her husband, two children, and herself.[20]
Winchelsea drowning 4 September 2005 Winchelsea, Victoria 3 Robert Farquharson deliberately drove his car into a dam drowning his three sons.[21]
Annerley arson February 2006 Annerley, Qld. 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.[22][23]
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 attack where Anthony Carbo murdered three people and injured three more including two police officers.
Quakers Hill nursing home fire 18 November 2011 Sydney, NSW 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.[24]
Hunt family murders 9 September 2014 Lockhart, New South Wales 5 0 A mass shooting and familicide by Geoff Hunt who killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself.
Wedderburn shooting 23 October 2014 Wedderburn, Victoria 3 0 A mass shooting and siege by Ian Francis Jamieson who shot a husband and wife, after stabbing their son to death.
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15 - 16 December 2014 Sydney, NSW 3 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. The NSW Police Tactical Operations Unit shot Monis dead, after he executed a hostage. In the exchange, one person was hit by police bullet fragments, causing accidental death.
Cairns child killings 19 December 2014 Cairns, Queensland 8 1 (self-inflicted by perpetrator) 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.[25]
Northern Sydney gassing 17 October 2016 Davidson, Northern Sydney, NSW 4 Fernando Manrique used carbon monoxide gas to kill himself, his wife and their two children.[26]
January 2017 Melbourne car attack 20 January 2017 Melbourne, Victoria 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 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.[27]
Osmington shooting 11 May 2018 Osmington, Western Australia 7 0 A murder-suicide, with three adults and four children killed. A grandfather shot his four grandchildren at their home, his daughter, his wife, and then himself.[28]
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.[29]
September 2018 Bedford massacre 9 September 2018 Bedford, Western Australia 5 0 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.[30] In April 2019, 25-year-old Anthony Harvey pled guilty to murdering his 5 family members.[31] Should not be confused with the 1879 Cape Bedford Massacre against aboriginal people.
June 2019 Darwin Shooting June 4, 2019 Darwin, Northern Territory 4 1 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. [32]

Largest massacresEdit

Name Date Location Deaths Non-fatal injuries Notes
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 by British colonists led by Governor Stirling against the Pinjarup people.
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 many injuries but few deathsEdit

Mass violent attacks which caused many injuries but few deaths.

Murders over an extended period of timeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 11 December 1861. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  2. ^ Manning Clark, A History of Australia. Vol IV, p 353
  3. ^ Battle of Broken Hill
  4. ^ Stephens, Tony (20 May 2002). "Closing the circle on a bloody chapter", The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  5. ^ Peter Skehan. "1942 Boulder & Kalgoorlie Bombings". The Western Australian Police Historical Society.
  6. ^ "Father charged after 10 killed". The Age. 7 September 1971.
  7. ^ "Thrown out of house three days before family was killed Daoud got gun licence from Campsie police". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 October 1981.
  8. ^ R v Crabbe [2004] NTSC 63, Supreme Court (NT)
  9. ^ "Man killed his family to spare them 'disgrace'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 June 1984.
  10. ^ "Richard Maddrell Massacre Pymble 1987". Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  11. ^ Dillon, Meagan (31 January 2013). "Killer sentenced to life after shooting five could be released". Ntnews.
  12. ^ "Killer .............. could be released". Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Recent random mass shootings in Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. 21 October 2002. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Victory for Brisbane women's services". Green Left Weekly. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Peter Shoobridge: 'Tasmanian devil' Poet murdered his four daughters". 8 September 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Our own sordid history of bikie violence". 19 May 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Man Guilty of Killing Parents Sister". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Inside a killer's mind". 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Killer the perfect son: mother tells - National". Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Shock and anger after mother's murder suicide". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 March 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  21. ^ Farnsworth, court reporter Sarah (7 December 2012). "Man who killed sons in dam loses appeal". Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Trial begins over triple fire deaths". Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Murdered lawyers family welcomes conviction". Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Convenience store owner Adeel Khan jailed for Rozelle fire deaths". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Australia Cairns: Mother charged with eight murders". BBC News. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Man suspected of killing family was having affair". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Footscray factory fire triple murder". ABC News. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Four children, three adults found shot dead in Margaret River murder-suicide". ABC News. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Ellenbrook Murder victims named".
  30. ^ "Bedford Mass Murder".
  31. ^ "Bedford killer Anthony Harvey pleads guilty to five counts of murdering family members". ABC News. 24 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Alleged Darwin gunman Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann charged with four counts of murder".