Historical information

Angus McMillan named the Avon River after the river of the same name in his native Scotland. In 1840 he established a pastoral run at Bushy Park, north-west of the township. William Odell Raymond established a run in the area in 1842, and built his house, Strathfieldsaye, during 1848–54. European settlement did not take place without resistance, and in return, massacres were inflicted by Angus McMillan and others on Gunai people, especially between the years of 1840 and 1850. (wikipedia)

The first application for the 'Bushy Park' run appears in the “Port Phillip Gazette” on 13 August 1843. It was taken up by Angus McMillan, who also took up the 'Boisdale' run for his employer Lachlan Macalister at the same time. In March 1844 a Licence to occupy the 16,000 acre 'Bushy Park' was granted to McMillan. In the late 1840s Andrew Martin and Matt McCraw built Angus McMillan's Bushy Park homestead.

Aboriginal killings in Gippsland area most often were never formally recorded, but lived on in folklore, mainly in place names pinpointing what some historians now refer to as "massacres", and others as "conflicts". There is Boney Point, on Lake Wellington, Butchers Creek, near Metung, Slaughterhouse Gully, at Buchan, Skull Creek, at Lindenow, and, notoriously, Warrigal Creek, at Woodside. "Here, according to a couple of contemporary - though not eyewitness - reports, between 50 and 150 blacks were killed in an orgy of revenge after the murder and mutilation of a leading Scots settler, Ronald Macalister. If anybody had any doubts about the fitness of commemorating McMillan's name, no one voiced them then. Gippsland was, and still is, dotted with stone cairns tracing his route from Omeo, down the Tambo Valley to the fertile plains where he was to make (and lose) his fortune. And where, according to a growing body of opinion, he was to lead the "Highland Brigade", a band of armed settlers, against the Kurnai. History is fiction agreed on, and it is written by the winners. For most of the past 150 years, McMillan has been hailed as a trail-blazing pioneer. The legend began to crumble 20 years ago with publication of new histories, which at first outraged Gippsland historical societies and old residents, but which have gradually changed the way McMillan is viewed. ... Still, not all McMillan's contemporaries agreed with the "Highland Brigade" and its methods. Henry Meyrick, an English-born squatter, wrote to relatives in disgust about his neighbours. He estimated that 450 had been killed, and wrote: "Men, women and children are shot down whenever they can be met with. Some excuse might be found for shooting the men by those who are daily getting their cattle speared, but what they can urge in their excuse who shoot the women and children I cannot conceive." (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/04/26/1019441303552.html, accessed 20 September 2016.)

The Gippsland electorate is called 'McMillan' in his honour.

Physical description

Black and white image of a man wearing a coat and beret. He is Scottish born Victorian Squatter Angus McMillan of Bushy Park, Gippsland.