Mona Mona Mission, at Kuranda, was run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Mission opened in 1913 and children from the mission, aged 6 and up, were taken from their families and placed into single-sex dormitories. The last dormitory closed along with the Mission in 1962.
The Mona Mona Mission was established in 1913 at Kuranda, a town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, 25 kilometres from Cairns. Most of the people moved onto the Mission were Djabuganjdji people.
A girls' home or dormitory, consisting of four rooms with a dining room capable of seating 200, was built at the same time as the Mission was established. The girls remained in the dormitory until they married.
Boys were trained in farming and saw-milling, with a saw mill on the Mission producing timber building products.
In February 1920 the girls' dormitory was destroyed when a cyclone levelled the Mission village and a new girls' dormitory was not built until 1926. It is thought that a boys' dormitory was erected sometime in the 1930s. Additionally, a Little Boys' dormitory for under ten year olds was in operation at Mona Mona Mission in the 1950s.
In 1951 a dormitory for the Senior Girls was completed and was still in use by 1955. Government reports indicate that the use of the dormitory system was being slowly phased out resulting in periods when the dormitory was temporarily empty.
The last dormitory closed on 31 December 1962. The Mona Mona Mission closed in 1962 and the majority of residents were forcibly removed to Palm Island or Woorabinda.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Mona Mona Mission Station', Cairns Post (Cairns), 16 January 1923, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40179849; Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs unpublished report on unlicensed Mission dormitories for the Queensland Redress Scheme (2009).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: 17 September 2014, Last modified: 1 November 2017