Mainland Missions and Communities...

Aurukun
Barrambah
Bethesda
Bloomfield River
Bowen
Cape Bedford
Cherbourg
Cowal Creek
Daintree River
Doomadgee
Edward River
Elim

Fantome Island
Fraser Island
Gorge (Mossman)
Hope Vale
Horn Island
Injinoo
Kowanyama
Lockhart River
Mackay
Mapoon
Marie Yamba

Maryborough
Mona Mona
Moreton Bay
Mornington Island
Myora Mission
Napranum
New Mapoon
Palm Island
Pormpuraaw
Purga
Somerset

Stewards Creek
Stradbroke Island
Trubanaman
Umagico
Weipa
Woorabinda
Wujal Wujal
Yarrabah
Yungaburra
Zion Hill

Aurukun
Church Influence: Presbyterian

Aurukun was established as a Presbyterian mission in 1904. The Archer Bay site had many casual visitors, mostly of the Wik people.

With the coming of the missionaries, children were confined to dormitories to isolate them from the influence of their people. However many people remained outside the mission up until the 1950's, ensuring the culture remained strong.

Aurukun is located on bauxite-rich land. Without consideration of the protests of the community, the Queensland Government passed a Bill to authorise mining. In 1975 the community was placed under direct state government control. In 1978 they were given a 50-year lease on their land under the administration of the shire clerk and other white staff, but were nominally under the control of an elected Aboriginal Council.

Following the Wik case the land has reverted to Native Title held by the Wik people. The significance of this claim cannot be underestimated. The Federal government, under the leadership of John Howard, has sought to legislate away the rights of Wik people to control their own future within the context of their traditional lands.

The focal area of the Wik lies between the Archer and Edward Rivers of Western Cape York Peninsula and inland to Coen. Most Wik people still live in this triangle.

Back to the top of the page

Bethesda
Church Influence:
Lutheran; however they have no records for this mission.

Barambah - see Cherbourg

Bloomfield River
Church Influence: Lutheran

Established in 1887 south of Cooktown, this mission was established by the Lutheran church. When it closed in 1901 many of the people were transferred to Hope Valley (Hope Vale). In 1957 the church resumed work in the area and in 1970 the name was changed to Wujal Wujal.

Bowen (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Church Missionary Society

Cape Bedford (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:
Lutheran


Cherbourg (Barambah)
Church Influence: Church of England

Cherbourg Aboriginal community is situated near Murgon, approximately three hours drive from Brisbane. Cherbourg is the oldest and the largest aboriginal community in Queensland. The original mission was located at Durundur, but was later relocated to a new site then called Barambah. In 1931, the name was changed to Cherbourg. Cherbourg people have developed a strong culture deriving from 40 different groups which includes the original group from this area, the Waka Waka people. The 1996 Census population of Cherbourg was 1064.

Back to the top of the page

Cowal Creek see Injinoo

Daintree River (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Assemblies of God

Doomadgee
Church Influence: Christian Brethren

Originally known as Dumaji, this mission was located on Bayley Point on the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1936 after being destroyed by a cyclone the community was relocated to Nicholson River. In 1985 the population of Doomadgee was approximately 800. The 1996 census population of Doomadgee was 651.

Back to the top of the page

Edward River see Pormpuraaw

Elim
Church Influence:
Lutheran

This mission was established in 1885 on the north shore at Cape Bedford near Cooktown in Queensland. While it initially flourished, Elim's future became grim and the people were relocated to Hope Valley. At the beginning of World War II the people were relocated to Woorabinda. Over the next 10 years approximately a quarter of the people relocated to Woorabinda from Hope Valley died. In 1949, the people returned home to a new site called Hope Vale. This area is the original home of the Guugu-Yimidhirr people. Hope Vale was the first community in Queensland to receive land under Deed Of Grant In Trust arrangements. The 1996 census population of Hope Vale was 671.

Fantome Island - (Leper Station)
Church Influence:
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

Located near Palm Island, Fantome Island was a leprosarium.

Fraser Island
Church Influence: Australian Board of Mission

Fraser Island is located off the coast near Hervey Bay in Queensland, and was named after Eliza Fraser, who was shipwrecked on the island in 1836. In the late 1890s the mission was established with the Gubbi Gubbi and Badtjala people being moved there. In 1904 177 people were relocated to Yarrabah Mission.

Gorge (Mossman) (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Assemblies of God

Hope Vale
Church Influence:
Lutheran

Hope Vale is situated 46km north of Cooktown and was established as a Lutheran Mission. The people are Guugu Yimithirr. The original mission sites were at Elim and Cape Bedford.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the people, along with missionary Schwarz, were interned at Woorabinda, near Rockhampton, in Queensland. In just one month, twenty eight people lost their lives with nearly a quarter of the people dying over the next eight years. 

In 1986 the community became the first to receive a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) and formed the Hope Vale Aboriginal Council. In 1997 a Native Title determination was made concerning the lands of the Hope Vale DOGIT.

Prominent Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson is from Hope Vale. Hope Vale has its own web site located at http://cwpp.slq.qld.gov.au/hopevale.

Back to the top of the page

Horn Island
Church Influence: London Missionary Society up until 1915 when the Anglican Church assumed responsibility.

Horn Island is known as Nurapai to the Muralag/Kaurareg People. After the 1871 massacre on the Prince of Wales Islands (Muralag) remnants of the people settled here for a short while, until the government relocated the Muralag people to Hammond Island (Keriri) where they remained until 1922.

A community flourished here from the pearling era but was abandoned when non-islander residents were evacuated to southern towns of Queensland during WWII. Gold was mined here in the 1890s and again in the late 1980s. During World War 1 it was occupied by the military. In 1946, after World War 2, some of the Muralag people moved back from Moa Island (Kubin) to Horn and settled here in present-day Wasaga Village at the western end of the island. In the late 1980s, Horn saw the rapid expansion of population and building activity as land on neighbouring Thursday Island became scarce.

Horn Island is the site of Thursday Island's airport, which makes it a gateway for travellers to the mainland and outer islands. The present day population consists of islanders drawn from all islands of the Torres Strait, as well as non-Islanders. Residents travel daily by ferry across the Ellis Channel to Thursday Island for work and school. Torres Shire is the local government authority, providing the island community's municipal services.

Back to the top of the page

Injinoo
Church Influence: Anglican

The settlement of Injinoo was established on Cape York by a community led by a Wuthathi man, Allelic Whitesand.

Although self-sufficient, through fishing and gardening, the Community made requests to the Anglican church to establish a mission and school. Government officials allowed the community to function through an elected Council.

After the Second World War, which saw a considerable military presence in the area, many Torres Strait Islanders began moving into Injinoo. Settlements were subsequently built at Bamaga, New Mapoon and Umagico to relocate evicted people from this and other areas of the Cape. In 1948 a reserve was created, with control of the area having been taken over by the Queensland Department of Native Affairs.

Back to the top of the page

Kowanyama (Mitchell River)
Church Influence:
Anglican

In 1919 an Anglican mission was relocated to the present site of Kowanyama (formerly the Mitchell River mission). The people include Yir Yoront, Kok-bera and Kunjen groups, amongst others. In 1964 a cyclone destroyed the mission, the State Government funding the rebuilding.

In 1967 the church gave control of the mission to the state Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs. In 1987 the community was given a DOGIT over the Mitchell River Delta, an area of 250 sq km. Like other DOGIT communities it has an Aboriginal Council elected by the community.

The community has its own web site at http://cwpp.slq.qld.gov.au/kowanyama.

Back to the top of the page

Lockhart River
Church Influence:
Anglican

In 1934 people were collected from throughout Cape York and placed on the mission at Lockhart River, which became a centre for the sandalwood trade. When the Second World War broke out the Europeans left and the Aboriginal people were told to go back to the bush and fend for themselves. In 1947 the mission was re-established with drastic changes inflicted on how the people should live and behave. In particular, tribal groups were forced to combine into a single community.

In 1964 the church handed over the mission to the Queensland Government who tried to relocate the people to Bamaga. The people refused to go but in 1971 were forced to move away from the traditional area of the coast. No consideration was given to traditional owners of the land and this move resulted in much discontent and friction.

The community has DOGIT status and is governed by its own community council.

Back to the top of the page

Mackay (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Methodist Overseas Missions

Mapoon
Church Influence:
Presbyterian

Mapoon Aboriginal Community is located at Port Musgrave, western Cape York in Queensland. A Presbyterian mission was established at Mapoon in 1891 with the aim of preventing the local people, particularly the children, from maintaining their own language and culture. By 1907, under the Reformatories Act, it was operating as an industrial school with dormitories filled with forcibly removed children from all over the Cape.

In the 1950s the discovery of bauxite saw mining leases given to Comalco and Alcan. The Mission announced closure and residents were told to go elsewhere. Many refused to go, which in 1963 led to the Department of Native Affairs deploying police to burn the houses and remove the people to New Mapoon. By 1973, however, people were returning to the site.

In 2000, the Mapoon Aboriginal community was formally recognised under Deed Of Grant In Trust arrangements. The 1996 census population of Mapoon was 139.

Back to the top of the page

Marie Yamba
Lutheran Church

Marie Yamba was a mission started in 1887 between Prosperine and Bowen. When it closed in 1902 some of the people transferred to Hope Vale Mission.

Maryborough (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:
Church Missionary Society

Mona Mona
Church Influence: Seventh Day Adventists

A former Seventh Day Adventist mission established near Kuranda. In 1913, large numbers, particularly of Djabugay people, were rounded up and forcibly taken to the mission. Until 1940 it was almost self-sufficient, growing its own food, and cutting and milling timber. After this period, soil fertility deteriorated and with the increasing costs, the mission soon became unviable. In 1962 the mission was closed and the people dispersed into the nearby towns.

Moreton Bay (Zion Hill)
(Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Church Missionary Society
(1838 - 1848 Lutheran)

Mornington Island (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:
Presbyterian

Back to the top of the page

Myora Mission see Stradbroke Island

Napranum (Jessica Point)
Church Influence:
Presbyterian

Formerly known as Weipa, Napranum was established in 1898 by the Moravian missionaries on behalf of the Presbyterian church. The Protector at the time, Archibald Meston, protested against the mission on the grounds that the people were healthy and could adequately sustain themselves. Despite this the mission went ahead inland near York Downs station to avoid contact with luggers who were notorious for kidnapping Aboriginal people to exploit in their diving operations. In 1932 the community had to relocate to its present site, at Jessica Point, because of malaria. At this time most of the people were Awngthim but soon people were brought from Old Mapoon (when it closed) and other communities.

Bauxite was found on the reserve in the 1950s with the Comalco Act of 1958 revoking the reserve status and allowing mining to commence in 1960. The mission became a government settlement in 1966 with continued attempts by Comalco to relocate the whole community elsewhere. The company then built a new town for its workers on the other side of the bay.

Napranum eventually received DOGIT status, and has its own community council.

Back to the top of the page

New Mapoon (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:

Palm Island
Church Influence: Roman Catholic Church

Located 65km north of Townsville in Queensland, Palm Island was established in 1918 to replace the Hull River Mission near Tully which had been extensively damaged by a cyclone. Over the next two decades, 1630 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from many different groups throughout Australia were sent there.

In 1957 there was a strike by residents over Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs' cuts to wages and treatment of women. The reaction of the DAIA was to expel the 25 people they considered the ringleaders, along with their families.

Palm Island has DOGIT status and its own community council. The 1996 census population of Palm Island was 1946.

Back to the top of the page

Purga (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Salvation Army

Back to the top of the page

Pormpuraaw
Church Influence:
Anglican
Formerly known as Edward River, Pormpuraaw was an Anglican mission established in 1938. The people included Thaayorre, Wik, Bakanh and Yir Yoront. This was the third mission to be set up in the southwestern Cape York region. In 1967 control was passed from the church to the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs.

The community received DOGIT status, and is governed by a community council. Pormpuraaw has been successful in developing a commercial crocodile farm, a cattle operation and some tourism.

Back to the top of the page

Somerset (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Church of England

Stewards Creek (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:

Stradbroke Island (Myora Mission)
(Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence: Roman Catholic Church

Back to the top of the page

Trubanaman see Kowanyama

Umagico (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:

Back to the top of the page

Weipa (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:
Presbyterian

Woorabinda
Church Influence:
Roman Catholic Church
Hope Vale people evacuated to Woorabinda have records with the Lutheran Church


Back to the top of the page

Wujal Wujal
Church Influence: Lutheran

Wujal Wujal was formerly known as the Bloomfield River Mission and the people are Guugu Yalanji.

In 1886 the mission began, only to be abandoned in 1902. The site was dismantled and the people moved to camps in the area. During the 1950s the Queensland Government attempted to move the people to Cooktown, but met protests from Cooktown residents. At one stage, there was a proposal to move the people to Hope Vale, but this did not eventuate.

In 1980 the Aboriginal Council came into being, with the area regaining its traditional name, Wujal Wujal.

Back to the top of the page

Yarrabah
Church Influence: Australian Board of Mission

The Yarrabah area, south of Cairns, was originally inhabited by the Yindinjdji. An Anglican mission was established in 1892, with a policy of dormitories for children and a ban on all traditional activities. Gradually many people removed from their own homelands were relocated to Yarrabah.

In 1957 as a result of intolerable living and working conditions a strike was staged. The "ringleaders' were expelled from the mission and others persuaded to leave.

In 1960 the Government took over the mission forcing people to live within the confines of the settlement as all outstations were closed.

In 1965 an advisory Aboriginal Council was established which reported to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Yarrabah received a Deed of Grant in Trust similar to other communities in Queensland in 1979.

Yungaburra (Our apologies - no information for this community is currently available here.)
Church Influence:
Assemblies of God

Zion Hill (see Moreton Bay)

Back to the top of the page

Acknowledgment: Information regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities has come from local sources, from Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996 Census data, and from the Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia, AIATSIS 1994, Vols 1 and 2.

top | home

Please note: The Kaurareg from Horn Island identify as Aboriginal people and can be found on this page.

Map of the DOGIT communitiesMap of the DOGIT communitiesMap of the DOGIT communities

Map of the DOGIT Communities