The Industrial School at the Mapoon Mission Station on western Cape York in Far North Queensland, was operated by the Presbyterian Church. In October 1901, Mapoon was gazetted as an industrial school under the Queensland Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act 1865 and then licensed in 1937 under the State Children Act 1911. It had closed by the 1960s.
The Mapoon Presbyterian Mission, situated on the traditional lands of the Tjungundji people, was established in 1891. Originally established under the name Batavia River Mission, by Moravian missionaries on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, it soon became known as Mapoon or Marpuna Mission.
At a conference of church and government officials held at Mapoon in April 1954 a policy decision was made to close Mapoon. The Government commenced building a replacement community at Hidden Valley near Bamaga in 1961 and by mid-1962 nearly 100 people had moved to the community which became known as New Mapoon. On 14 November 1963, the Officer-in-Charge of Police at Thursday Island received official instructions from the Director of Native Affairs, Pat Killoran, to remove the remaining twenty-three Aboriginal residents from Mapoon to Bamaga. All but two buildings were then burned to prevent the residents returning to the mission.
According to the Missing Pieces publication (2001), no records in relation to this Industrial School have been located.
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.55.; Mapoon History, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, 2012, https://www.mapoon.qld.gov.au/region-history/.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 14 June 2011, Last modified: 11 November 2014