The Koonibba Mission was established west of Ceduna by the Lutheran Church in 1901. In 1914 the Koonibba Children's Home was opened at the Mission for Aboriginal children. The government took control of the Mission in 1963 and the Children's Home closed. The Koonibba Mission was returned to the control of the Aboriginal Community in 1975.
The Koonibba Mission was established by the Lutheran Church in 1901. It was situated on 16,000 acres of land to the west of Ceduna that was purchased by the Church in 1899. Schooling and religious services for the local Aboriginal population was begun almost immediately. A schoolroom for local Aboriginal children was built within the first year of the Mission's operation. In 1914 the Koonibba Children's Home was opened at the Mission. In 1963 the Mission was taken over by the South Australian Government and the Koonibba Children's Home was closed. In 1975 control of the Koonibba Mission was handed to the Koonibba Aboriginal Community Council and it ceased to operate as a Mission. The land was purchased by the Aboriginal Community in 1988.
Koonibba Mission was mentioned in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) as an institution that housed Indigenous children removed from their families.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Aboriginal Missions in South Australia', in State Library of South Australia - Library Guides, 2013, http://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/Aboriginal_Missions; Hampton, Ken and Christobel Mattingley, Survival in our own land: 'Aboriginal' experiences in 'South Australia' since 1836, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 1988.
Prepared by: Gary George
Created: 4 June 2014, Last modified: 5 September 2017