The Great Rescue of 1852
In 2016, the Gundagai community, incorporating members of the local Wiradjuri community, commissioned a sculpture as part of their main street upgrade. This work by Darien Pullen recognises the heroic actions of a number of Wiradjuri men including Yarri and Jacky Jacky in saving many of the Gundagai townsfolk, and celebrates the first act of reconciliation in Australian history.
On the night of June 24, 1852 two Wiradjuri men, Yarri and Jacky Jacky, rescued one third of Gundagai town’s residents (some 69 people) in frail bark canoes from the flooded Murrumbidgee River. This was a protracted rescue effort, continuing over some days and nights. This great flood is one of the most significant natural disasters in Australian history in terms of lives lost, with some 80 people being drowned.
The official opening of this important Australian monument – “The Great Rescue of 1852”- was held in Gundagai on Saturday June 10, 2017.