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“The Great Rescue of 1852” Sculpture

Yarri and Jacky Jacky stand on the corner of Kitchener Street and Sheridan Street.

A larger than life-size, bronze sculpture to commemorate the 165th anniversary of the Great Flood of Gundagai in 1852. Artist Darien Pullen of Meridian Sculpture Foundry.

Yarri and Jacky Jacky Unveiling 10 June 2017 – Image Courtesy OurMob, NSW Aboriginal Land Council

The sculpture celebrates the heroic work of Yarri and Jacky Jacky, along with other members of the Wiradjuri tribe in saving some 69 townsfolk from the floodwaters.

A Quick 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 work was carried out despite Gundagai townsfolk ignoring earlier warnings by aboriginal community members that the area was subject to inundation. Numerous press articles in the Gundagai Independent over a period of more than 100 years after the flood reference the rescues. This great flood continues to be one of the most significant natural disasters in Australian history in terms of lives lost, with some 80 being drowned.