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Northern Territory - Archival Collection

Garden Point Collection (1941 - )


The Garden Point Collection is a collection of records relating to the Garden Point Mission on Melville Island and other missions and institutions run by the Catholic Church. Parts of the Collection, including baptismal registers, an admission register, index cards and letter books relating to the Garden Point Mission have been listed and described. Other records relating to other missions and institutions are yet to be listed.


Access Conditions

If you would like to seek access to records from the Garden Point Collection, you will be asked to complete an Access For Information Form, obtainable from the Diocesan Office. To protect the privacy of individuals you may also need to provide proof of identity before accessing records that may contain personal or private information.

You may be directed to a digital copy of records in this Archival Collection due to the condition of the original records. Some records deteriorate due to age and are no longer in one piece (they may literally fall apart), become faded, or suffer from mould or water damage etc. In these instances the original record may no longer be legible. Digital copies are used not only to prevent damage to the fragile original records by reducing the amount of handling, but also to present records in readable format.

People who lived at the Garden Point Mission or at other missions or institutions run by the Catholic Church in the Northern Territory may be able to amend records about them.

The Catholic Diocese of Darwin describes its aims in relation to records access services as follows:

"By providing this service, free of charge, the Diocese, in conjunction with specific Government Agencies will be in a position make readily available, records that are important to Forgotten Australians as they seek to rebuild their identities and track their family histories."


Garden Point Mission was established in 1941 and overseen by the Church until 1967, at which point responsibility for the mission was handed over to the Government. A series of records related to the Mission have been listed and described and, in some instances, described. This occurred because the Catholic Church recognized the value of such records from the Garden Point Collection for Forgotten Australians and members of the Stolen Generations searching for information about themselves and their families.

As well as baptismal and admission registers, additional paper records relating to the child's admission and the family history of each child have been maintained at the Diocesan Offices. Index cards have been used to cross-reference some of the records mentioned and to indicate and reference the location of any correspondence between family, church or welfare and government agencies.

The Garden Point Collection includes:

  • 1 Admission Register of Garden Point
  • 10 Baptismal registers
  • 19 Arch files
  • 4 Boxes alphabetical index cards
  • 12 Ringed binders of correspondence

The Baptismal Register for Garden Point and the Garden Point Admission Register have been digitised and transcribed to enable full-text searching, to facilitate access and preserve the original fragile registers.


Online Resources

Prepared by: Anita Maertens and Elizabeth Daniels