Rodney shipwreck

The PS Rodney was burnt by about 300 unionist shearers in 1894 in protest at it being used as a strike breaker during an industrial dispute. A vessel renowned along the river for its size, the Rodney was an established steamer that provided a critical service to pastoralists and the river towns that it frequented.

In early 1895 the ps Nile, itself also a wreck in the Darling River at Bourke, was involved in salvaging material from the Rodney. The boiler and most of the machinery were removed along with a quantity of tools and ironwork. To this day the remains of the lower hull survive in the bed of the river

The Rodney Historic Shipwreck site is great significance as a physical marker to a violent episode in the Shearer’s Strikes of the 1890’s.  Burnt to the water line by about 300 unionist shearers in an 1894 protest about non-union labour, the archaeological remains provide a tangible link to this colourful era of riverboat activity on the Darling River.  Community interest in the historic shipwreck is demonstrated by significant centenary celebrations in 1994 which involved the burning of a replica of the Rodney.

Further information on the life of the ps Rodney can be found in Margaret Goodwin's self published book: 'Capt George J Dorward - on ship and shore'.

The wreck site was listed on the State Heritage Register under the NSW Heritage Act 1977 on 23 November 2007 (Government Gazette No. 8614).