The Point McLeay Mission Station was established at lake Alexandrina by the Aborigines' Friends' Association in 1859. Dormitories were set up at the Mission for orphan Aboriginal children. When Poonindie Mission closed in 1894 some families were transferred to Point McLeay. The State Government took control of the Mission in 1916 and the dormitories were closed. The Point McLeay Mission Station was handed back to the Ngarrindjeri people in 1974 and was renamed Raukkan in 1982.
The Point McLeay Mission Station was established by the Aborigines' Friends' Association and the Reverend George Taplin in 1859 on the south banks of Lake Alexandrina in Ngarrindjeri country. It was established to provide assistance to the Aboriginal people of the Lower Lakes district. A school and cottages were constructed and a farm developed. Medical assistance and religious training were also supplied. Dormitories, referred to as boarding-houses or 'orphan houses' in the 1903-1904 Protector's Reports, were established at the Mission for 'orphan children'.
When Poonindie Mission closed in 1894 some families were transferred to Point McLeay Mission Station.
Poor land quality, lack of funding and competition from local farmers made it difficult for the Mission to be self sustaining. In 1916 the state government took over the Point McLeay Mission Station and it became a government reserve. At this time the dormitories for children were closed. However, the Mission continued to be referred to as a Mission Station well into the 1950s. In the 1923 Report suggestions were made that a training school and new dormitories for girls and 'orphan' boys be established, however, it appears new dormitories were not opened.
In 1974 Point McLeay was handed back to the Ngarrindjeri people, and in 1982 the settlement was renamed Raukkan.
Point McLeay Mission Station was mentioned in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) as an institution that housed Indigenous children removed from their families.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Aboriginal Australians and the River: Aboriginal missions on the River Murray', in SA Memory, 2010, http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1317; 'Taplin and Pt McLeay', in Firstsources.info, http://www.firstsources.info/taplin-and-point-mcleay.html.
Prepared by: Gary George
Created: 15 May 2014, Last modified: 5 September 2017