The Poonindie Mission was established at Poonindie by the Church of England in 1850. It was initially run as a training institution for young Aboriginal people from Adelaide schools. It later became a Christian community made up of Aboriginal people from various localities. The lease to Poonindie Mission was surrendered in 1894 and the majority of residents were moved to Point Pearce and Point McLeay Mission Stations. A small number of residents remained until the 1910s.
The Poonindie Mission was established by the Church of England in 1850. Situated 15 km north of Port Lincoln, adjacent to the River Tod, the Mission was run by the Archdeacon Matthew Hale and was established as a Training Institution where teenage Aboriginal people who had attended school in Adelaide could continue to be brought up as Christians. In 1852 the school for Aborigines in Adelaide closed and the Mission, in order to keep its government assistance, was forced to accept any person sent by the Protector of Aborigines. Along with the former students residents at the Mission eventually included people from Albany, Point McLeay, the Riverland and the South-east of South Australia. By 1868 the Mission had become self-supporting running cattle, sheep and pigs as well as growing crops of wheat and oats.
In the 1890s the government came under pressure to have the Mission closed and the land made available for sale. By 1894 the lease had been surrendered and the Mission officially closed. Many of the Missions resident families were moved to Point McLeay and Point Pearce Mission Stations. There was, however, a small number of Aboriginal people who remained at Poonindie until sometime in the 1910s.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A brief history of Poonindie Mission', in Saint Matthew's, Poonindie, 2011, http://www.poonindie.com/poonindie/history.htm; George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/; 'Poonindie', in Firstsources.info, http://www.firstsources.info/poonindie.html.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 18 February 2011, Last modified: 5 December 2017