Wangaaypuwan Ngurrampaa – Nyngan Timeline from 1835 – 1998


Pre-contact: Ngemba boarding Wiradjuri / Wayilwan /Kawambarai Country:

Traditional Language: Ngiyampaa – Wangaaypuwan (Wongaibon) Mayi (People).

Clans included:

  • Belar -Tree people
  • Bogan gull – Bogan River
  • Keewong- Carowra Tank
  • Neila -Tree people
  • Karul-kiyalu – Stone people
  • Wayilwan (Weilwan) / Kawambarai (Gawambaraay)– Macquarie River/Marshes, Castlereagh River, Warren, Gulargambone, Quambone, Carinda, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Tooraweenah, Binnaway, Mendooran, Collie, Buckinguy, Curban, Eumungerie, Merrygoen surrounding areas (Tindale’s Map,1974).
  • Wangaaypuwan (Wongaibon) – Bogan River, Nyngan / Nyingen, Trangie, Coolabah, Girilambone, Hermidale, Narromine, Peakhill, Trundle, Cobar, Nevertire, Tullamore, Tottenham (Tindale’s Map,1974).
  • Muttagah
  • Duck creek

The history of Nyngan: colonisation and a timeline of events

1835: The first recorded visit by Europeans to the Bogan River was by a party led by Major Thomas Mitchell, who set off from Parramatta on March 9, 1835.

10 May 1835: Major Mitchell arrives in what was then known as Nyingen (Nyngan). He described this spot as a “long pond with many birds, ducks and brolgas.” Squatters settled the area shortly after Major Mitchell passed through the district.

1846: Eleven years later, Major Mitchell returned to Nyingen, and noted the devastation and reduced population of the Bogan Gull Mayi (People), due to the 1841-1842 massacre, led by pastoralist William Lee and his men. Major Mitchell noted the discovery of burnt relics of the previous settlement. At this time Canonba, a small village on Duck Creek some 30 kilometres north of Nyngan, was a thriving village but soon fell into decline following the completion of the railway line to Nyngan in 1883.

A few houses and buildings from Canonba were moved and re-erected in Nyngan. Today the only reminders of the township are a small graveyard and a large boulder bearing a plaque to mark the site of Canonba.

1841-1842: Major massacres of Wangaaypuwan Mayi (Aboriginal People) occurred in the area, significantly reducing the population of the Wangaaypuwan Mayi (People).

1845:  The government cancelled all pastoral licenses beyond the Derribong run, after the Bogan River Massacre – Frontier Wars and other hostile encounters.

1865: Nyngan was gazetted as a reserve for water.

1880:  The townsite was not reserved.

1882: Nyngan was surveyed in 1882 when the Dubbo-Bourke railway was under construction. The track then arrived in Nyngan in 1883.

1880: Wheat farming began, prior to that the district had been used predominantly for cattle and sheep.

17 February 1891: Nyngan became a municipality.

1890s: A meat works was built on the outskirts of town in the 1890s for the boiling down of sheep.

1896: Initiation ceremony, Conoble.

1910: An experimental farm was established to develop and improve local wheat cultivation.

1942: The town finally got a secure water supply in 1942 when water was relayed along a 62 km canal from the Macquarie River referred to as the Albert Priest channel.

1983: Registration of Nyngan Local Aboriginal Land Council.

19 January 1984: Registration of Bogan Aboriginal Corporation

April 1990: Nyngan and the surrounding district in the Shire of Bogan suffered the worst flooding the area has known since European colonisation.

1997: Aboriginal Education Assistant position establish – Nyngan Public School / Nyngan High School.

1998: Aboriginal Education Worker position established – Nyngan Preschool

This document is based on research carried out by:

Raylene Weldon

Ngiyampaa – Wayilwan – Native Title Claimant

Wangaaypuwan History

Story submitted by Raylene Weldon from Nyngan High School. Published in 2023.