Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Mission Thursday Island was established in 1884 by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart arrived on the island to run the convent school and care for the girls in the orphanage. They also assisted in setting up and running the first hospital. During World War Two the Mission was evacuated to Cooyar near Toowoomba, however by March 1946 residents were free to return to Thursday Island. Around 1984 administration of the Mission was handed over to the State government. The Torres Strait Council has administered Thursday Island since 1994.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, https://cssa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Piece-of-the-Story.pdf; Deere, Tyrone C, Stone on Stone: Story of Hammond Island Mission, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Thursday Island, 1994, https://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/catalogue_resources//r000011099844.pdf; Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs unpublished report on unlicensed Mission dormitories for the Queensland Redress Scheme (2009).
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 10 June 2014, Last modified: 18 June 2014