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Western Australia - Glossary Term

Mission Station (1900? - )


A mission station as defined by Macquarie Dictionary is 'an outback establishment administered by a Christian religious denomination to house Aboriginal people and provide them with education, including religious education, and other care.'


Macquarie Dictionary add the following quotation to give some context to the 'care' provided:

'In the 1920s, the Queensland government pushed tribes out of their traditional areas and placed them onto mission stations and government reserves, allegedly to protect them from whites but in reality to place them under the control of missionaries and government officials.' - Jackie Huggins, 1998.

In 1905 at a royal commission in WA, Commissioner Roth had the following exchange with the Chief Protector of Aborigines Henry Prinsep:

[Commissioner]: Does your Department presume that these mission stations are run in the interests of the natives and not of the managers, trustees, or people in charge? [Prinsep]: Yes; I presume so. Have you a reason to doubt such a presumption? [Commissioner]: I have.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Macquarie Dictionary Online,

Prepared by: Debra Rosser