The Hope Valley Mission, at Hope Valley, was run by Lutheran Church Missionaries. Previously known as the Cape Bedford Mission, it was established around 1896 and closed in May 1942 when the site was taken over by the Australian Army and its residents were removed to Woorabinda, near Rockhampton. It reopened as the Hope Vale Mission in around 1950.
The Hope Valley Mission was established when the administrative centre for the Mission at Elim moved to Hope Valley.
Before the second world war, the Mission consisted of a number of hamlets or settlements at Springhill, Bridge Creek, and Elim with the administrative centre located at Hope Valley. Hope Valley was known as 'the school station'. This was where the Superintendent's house, the church, the school and the dormitories were situated.
All of the Mission children of school age were sent to live in the dormitories at Hope Valley as this was where the Mission school was situated.
The Hope Valley dormitories were also used to house orphans or children whose parents were not living on the Mission. The Mission's policy in 1939 was that it was better that Mission children were institutionalised rather than be with their parents.
In 1941, 131 children were registered as inmates of the institution.
In May 1942, residents of Hope Valley Mission were removed to the Woorabinda Aboriginal Reserve, over 1,000 kilometres south. The Mission site was subsequently taken over by the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Army and the Civil Construction Corps.
The mission reopened in around 1950, with the new name of Hope Vale.
Sources used to compile this entry: Apunipima Cape York Health Council: Hopevale History, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, 2013, https://web.archive.org/web/20200310124624/http://www.apunipima.org.au/hopevalie-apunipima; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander missions and reserves in Queensland, State Library of Queensland, 2014, http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/82602/missions_and_reserves.pdf; Ganter, Regina, German Missionaries in Queensland - Cape Bedford Mission (Hope Vale) (1886-1942), Griffith University, 2009, http://missionaries.griffith.edu.au/qld-mission/cape-bedford-mission-hope-vale-1886-1942; Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs unpublished report on unlicensed Mission dormitories for the Queensland Redress Scheme (2009).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: 13 March 2014, Last modified: 16 April 2019