The Hermannsburg Mission was established on the banks of the Finke River by Lutheran missionaries from the Hermannsburg Missionary Society and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia in 1877. The missionaries established a school and dormitories for children in the late 1890s. It operated under Lutheran control until 1982 when the land was returned to the local Arrente people.
The Hermannsburg Mission was established on the banks of the Finke River by Lutheran missionaries from the Hermannsburg Missionary Society and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia in 1877. It was the last and longest-running Mission run by the Lutheran Church in Australia.
A School House was built at the Mission in 1896 and separate dormitories for boys and girls erected during the period 1894-1904. Children were rewarded for attending school via the distribution of rations. Missionaries learned the Arrente language and translated much of their spiritual and other educational materials, to ensure that their teachings were understood.
In the 1930s the Mission fully maintained approximately 100 children.
Hermannsburg Mission operated under Lutheran control until 1982 when the land was finally returned to the local Arrente people. The Hermannsburg Historic Precinct was included on the National Heritage List on 13 April 2006. The database record for the Precinct provides a detailed history of the Mission.
The buildings that were the School House and boys' dormitory were still standing in 2014. The girls' dormitory was destroyed by fire in 1954.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Australian Heritage Database Record for the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct', in Australian Heritage Database, Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Australian Government, 2006, http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;place_id=105767; 'Northern Territory: Protectors /Administration / Welfare Branch reports', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2010, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/northern-territory; Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, Commonwealth of Australia, 1997, https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 7 February 2011, Last modified: 7 November 2018