noun 1. an Australian Aboriginal people of the area of the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers in central NSW.
2. the language of this people.
–adjective 3. of or relating to this people or their language.
The Wiradjuri, traditionally occupying a large area of inland NSW, were one of the largest Indigenous peoples in both area and population. Systematic resistance to white settlement in the 1820s, under a leader known to the British as Windradyne, caused Governor Brisbane to declare martial law and to institute a military campaign against the Wiradjuri in the Bathurst area. The Anglican Church Missionary Society established a mission in the Wellington Valley in the 1830s; the annual reports of the mission commented on the deleterious effects of white settlement on the people.
Rival spellings of Indigenous names are often due to mishearings by English speakers or their attempts to find ways to write unfamiliar sounds, but the two spellings of this name reflect a dialect distinction: northerners said Wiradhuri and southerners Wiradjuri. The name is based on wirray `no': that is, the Wiradjuri are the people who have the word wirray for `no', as opposed, for example, to the Kamilaroi, who use the word kamil for `no'. The English word billabong comes from Wiradjuri.