German Citizens of Dubbo

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, hostility towards Australian residents with German heritage emerged in communities across the nation. While some were motivated by a genuine fear of espionage and treachery, other forms of hostility were motivated by petty jealousy and personal grudges.

In Dubbo this panic saw the revival of an age-old local dispute, with descendants of Dubbo’s founding fathers - Robert Venour Dulhunty and Jean Emile de Bouillon Serisier - trading blows. One point of contention was over prominent citizen Narcisse Muller, after whom Muller Park is named. Letters to the editor in The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate called for the park to be named after anything or anyone but a ‘Hun’ whilst others pointed out that Muller himself was more French than German.

While some might look back at this reactionary response with discomfort, the fact that such debates raged in the community are testament to the fear and passion felt about the war and how European tensions echoed as far away as Western NSW.



An Anzac Day Centenary Commemoration Project by Dubbo City Council