Western Australia Missions with German speakers

Name Abstract
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.

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.


Goodenough Bay (1884-1886), Disaster Bay (1896- 1902), Cygnet Bay (1905-1910)

In the pearling belt on the east coast of Dampier peninsula the mission effort proceeded in stops and starts. The mission efforts along this coast were never German-run, but form part of the Kimberley mission history, with Fr. Duncan McNab at Goodenough Bay (1884-1886), the French Trappists at Disaster Bay (1890, 1896-1904) Fr. Nicholas Emo at Cygnet Bay (1905-1910), and the private ‘mission’ at Sunday Island (1899-1923). The Trappists used Disaster Bay as an outrigger station of Beagle Bay. All of these efforts grafted on to the Latino/Aboriginal communities along the coast including Thomas Puertollano.

La Grange Mission (Bidyadanga) (1924-1985)

This became the first Pallottine mission with a strong role for lay missionaries and an emphasis on inculturation. Only a few German-speaking staff were at this mission. It is now known as Bidyadanga.

Lombadina (1911-1975)

Before the German Pallottines took on Lombadina it had a ten-year history as a Filipino/Aboriginal community with a solid core of Bardi people. For many years it was an unfunded outrigger station to Beagle Bay.

Rockhole (1934-1939)

Rockhole was Bishop Raible’s attempt to break out of the mission model and extend the Pallottine presence in the Kimberley. It was very close to Moola Bulla and was completely undermined by the resistance from the Chief Protector of Aborigines.

Sunday Island Mission (1899-1962)

At the tip of the peninsula on Sunday Island (Iwanyi) Sydney Hadley and Harry Hunter conducted a trepang and pearling station relying on Aboriginal labour and indigenous knowledge of the reefs. They erected this into a private mission in 1899 and Hadley reported running a school with over 20 children. The Chief Protector began to look on this mission more favourably than on the German Catholic mission at Beagle Bay.

Tardun Farm (1931-1980)

The Pallottine St. Joseph’s farm at Tardun in the Geraldton vicariate was modelled on the successful New Norcia idea. It was not initially intended as an Aboriginal mission and only became one in 1948.

Wandering Brook (1944-1973)

Saint Francis Xavier Mission had an unhappy staffing record with the Sisters. It was primarily desgined as an orphanage for mixed descent children under removal orders, which was its major source of revenue and the cause of its eventual demise.