The Daintree River Mission, near Mossman, was run by the Assemblies of God. It opened in 1941 and closed in 1962. Children on the Mission were housed in girls' and boys' dormitories.
A girls' dormitory was officially opened at the Daintree River Mission on 22 April 1949 with seven girls in residence. The dormitory was a two story building with a kitchen, laundry and two shower rooms on the ground floor, and sleeping quarters upstairs. The dormitory slept eight people plus a verandah room that held three babies' cots. There is some evidence to suggest that children may have been living with the Missionaries prior to the establishment of the girls' dormitory.
The church maintained that the introduction of a dormitory system would result in the betterment of the Aboriginal girls. The Mission Superintendent claimed parents requested he take on the 'care, custody and control of their children'. Accommodation for young boys was added at a later time. It appeared that admissions to the dormitories were voluntary.
In 1962 the Assemblies of God closed the Daintree Mission and the Mission families were transferred to the Mossman Gorge Mission. There were five children in the dormitory when the Mission closed and they either returned to their parents or were moved to the Mossman Gorge Mission. There was no dormitory system operating at Mossman Gorge Mission so any children transferred there would have been placed with a mission family.
Sources used to compile this entry: Guy, Russell, Baptised among crocodiles. A history of the Daintree Aboriginal Mission, 1940 - 1962, Assembly of God, Mossman, 1999; Guy, Russell, 'Baptised among crocodiles. A history of the Daintree Aboriginal Mission, 1940 - 1962', Australasian Pentecostal Studies, Pentecostal Heritage Centre, 2002; Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs report on unlicensed Mission dormitories for the Queensland Redress Scheme (2009).
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 2 March 2014, Last modified: 4 June 2014