Missions A-B-C

Name Abstract
Aurukun (1904-1913)

Aurukun on the Archer River was a mission marked by trouble during its first ten years under the German Moravian pastor Richter who strongly relied on ‘native assistants’ to mediate contact with indigenous communities that remained aloof. It was the third of four stations on the west coast of Cape York in the Presbyterian/Moravian string of missions consisting of Mapoon (1891), Weipa (1898) and Mornington Island (1914).

Balgo (1940-1965)

Old Balgo was settled in 1942 after a group of Pallottines spent years wandering in the desert seeking to fulfill Bishop Raible’s vision for a Pallottine Kimberley.They found the site selected by the Bishop unsuitable and ended up settling on a private run by mistake. In 1965 the mission was relocated to Balgo Hills, now Wirrimanu.

Bathurst Island Mission 1911-1938-1978

Catholic mission strongly focused on Tiwi girls, guarded in dormitories until they married. Initially staffed by German speakers, later the staff included many different nationalities.

Beagle Bay (1890-2000)

Beagle Bay in the Kimberley commenced as a French Trappist mission in 1890, and was taken on by the German Pallottines in 1901. It became the centre of the Pallottine expansion into the Kimberley and beyond.


Bethesda Mission (1866-1881)

Bethesda was the first mission to be set up in the separate colony of Queensland. It was one of the very few missionary ventures in Queensland during the 1870s. Typical of that period, it hovered precariously between an unfunded mission and a commercial enterprise with cheap Aboriginal labour. Its founder Pastor Johann Gottfried Haussmann had been a colonist at Zion Hill mission. Bethesda mission operated more or less for seventeen years, directed at the spiritual and material requirements of the surrounding German and Aboriginal population in the Albert-Logan region. It did not result in any conversions to Christianity of indigenous people.

Bloomfield (Wujal-Wujal)

Bloomfield River mission in the Daintree commenced as a well-funded government initiative during a period of rapid settlement in the Cooktown region. It was then devolved into Lutheran care and underwent a parallel development with the Lutheran mission at Mari Yamba. Two successive missionaries foundered in health and spirit at Bloomfield. When the mission was wound down in 1901 the Kuku Yalanji refused to be shifted to Cape Bedford, and although the reserve was revoked, they remained in the area in a number of small camps. In 1957 it became Wujal-Wujal and still exists as an Aboriginal community. Because it became a Lutheran mission only in 1887, it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1987.

Cape Bedford Mission (Hope Vale) (1886-1942)

This was the first mission on Cape York Peninsula, and became the oldest surviving mission in north Queensland. It was initiated by Lutheran staff from Cooper Creek (South Australia) who established Elim and it became a stable community with the assignment of two young Neuendettelsau missionaries, Schwarz and Poland who stayed for 55 and 20 years respectively and added the Hope Valley site. The whole community was evacuated during World War II, because of its German missionary and lugger connections with Japanese. After the war Hope Vale was established on a new site. Outspoken and indomitable Missionary Schwarz is still remembered at Hope Vale which has remained a cohesive community and is home of a number of active and high profile indigenous activists.