MAPOON (Old) .... some very interesting history

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:34
ThreadID: 105832 Views:5333 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Hi all,
As we are now at another remote location I thought I may share some very interesting history about the place ...........
Before I start I need to make clear about the 2 "Mapoons", yes there are 2 of them, the best known one is "New Mapoon" and it is up near Bamaga, we are at "Old Mapoon", 80 odd K's north of Weipa, not that far as the crow flies from Bamaga, about 190 k's...........
I apologize in advance (not really, that's just for the copy n paste critics hahah) as most is copy n paste so bear with it.....
In 1606, Dutch VOC ship the Duyfken reached the west coast of Cape York, in northern Queensland. On the peninsula, the crew came into contact with the Indigenous people of Australia. This event was later documented as the first meeting on Australian soil between the indigenous people of Australia and Europeans. In 2006, a Dutch parliamentary delegation visited Australia to celebrate the special connection between the Netherlands and Australia, which then dated back 400 years. The delegation proposed the idea of a permanent memorial on the Western Cape York Peninsula.
With support from the Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, the Dutch government, the government of Queensland, Rio Tinto Alcan, Van Oord Australia and the Western Cape Communities Trust, the memorial was established near Mapoon in a garden area with local trees that were planted for the occasion.
Mapoon community is situated on the traditional lands of the Tjungundji people. A church mission commenced near Trathalarrakwana (unconfirmed spelling of a Tjungundji word meaning ‘Barramundi story place’) or Cullen Point on 28 November 1891. Mapoon Mission was established under the name Batavia River Mission by
Moravian missionaries on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, with
Queensland Government financial assistance, on land reserved by the Government under the Crown Lands Act of 1884. Within a few years the mission became known as Mapoon, a Tjungundji word meaning ‘place where people fight on the sand-hills’. As the influence of the mission widened in the surrounding lands, the reserve was extended south to the Mission River near Weipa. Some of the traditional owner groups who eventually came to live at Mapoon included the Mpakwithi, Taepithiggi, Thaynhakwith, Warrangku, Wimarangga and Yupungathi people.
In October 1901, Mapoon was gazetted as an industrial school under the Queensland Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act and Northern Protector of Aboriginals W.E. Roth noted in his annual report that prior to this time the government had been sending to Mapoon ‘waifs and strays from the Gulf country generally, but so far without the legal status of their being “neglected” children’.
For about the next thirty years, many mixed-descent children were removed from their families on stations and towns, such as Burketown, Croydon and Normanton, in the Gulf country and sent to Mapoon to be raised by the missionaries. Many of these removed people were also “adopted” by the traditional owners to give them a safe home in traditional country which was foreign to them.
At a conference of church and government officials held at Mapoon in April 1954 a policy decision was made to close Mapoon and evacuate the people to Weipa or other stations, or to ‘assimilate those ready for exemption [from the Protection Act] into the Australian way of life elsewhere’. The residents of the community were not consulted about the decision but merely told that the closure had been decided. The population of Mapoon in 1954 was 285.
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 twenty-three Aboriginal residents from Mapoon to Bamaga.
After the 1964 closure, former residents led by traditional people such as Jean Jimmy
continued to lobby for the re-opening of their community. In 1974 several families led by Jerry and Ina Hudson returned and ten years later the Marpuna Community Aboriginal Corporation was established. The Marpuna Corporation gradually built up the community at Rugapayn (Red Beach) to a stage where people were able to resettle permanently and government recognition followed.
On 26 April 1989 a Deed of Grant of Land in Trust (DOGIT) for ‘Aboriginal Reserve Purposes’ under the Land Act (Qld.) and covering 1,839 square kilometres, was handed over to the Mapoon people by the Queensland Government. The trustees included several traditional owners. This land mass was later reduced in size and the trustee representatives also reduced to three Trustees. The Mapoon lands continued to be administered by trustees appointed by the Queensland Government.
In 2013 the trustee structure was changed and divided into two parts. Two new Trustees where created and assigned responsibilities for these parts:
1. Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation which assumed responsibility for the majority of the DOGIT lands; and
2. Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council which assumed responsibility for a newly created town area.
The trustees have a plan to work together with respect to land administration matters and land use for the future needs of Mapoon.
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:40

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:40
A couple of interesting points in this ...........
Now you ask your kids ....Where was the FIRST contact made with the Indigenous people of Australia ??????
Everyone I have asked has given a different answer but NONE even had heard of Mapoon, that's very interesting ......
The population was of Mapoon in 1954 was 285, it is only about 290 today ....
AnswerID: 524586

Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:53

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:53
Crikey, we could be wearing clogs instead of thongs!
FollowupID: 806286

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 23:56

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 23:56
hahah yep ....... but think of this .... the "windmill" is an icon of the Aussie outback ......
Was it invented by the Dutch ???? ( I mean the principle anyway )
FollowupID: 806293

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:00

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:00
Hi Jo,

Windmills invented by the Dutch? In a nutshell, no. First practical use was in Persia (think Iran-Afghanistan) about 9th century AD, but other "wind machines" were known before then. A sailing boat was probably the original "wind machine".


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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FollowupID: 806299

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:04

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:04
An interesting read. Just to add to the background, a news item from today's Age re possible? evidence the the Portuguese were here even earlier.
AnswerID: 524597

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 19:17

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 19:17
just read it, very interesting, we all still do wonder about the Boab trees and strange paintings in the Kimberly's ...... just to add to the dark un-known ....
FollowupID: 806353

Reply By: Mikee5 - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 14:14

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 14:14
A replica of the Duyfken re-enacted the voyage, I am not sure when but possibly around 2006? - but I thought the ship was donated to the Qld Govt, it was moored outside the maritime museum in Brisbane for a while. Apparently it is now in a museum in Fremantle. I have fished at the Pennefather River near there - I believe the name comes from a Dutch ship too?
AnswerID: 524608

Follow Up By: Member - OnYaBike - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 23:51

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 23:51
There's a commemorating the Duyfken's visit at Duyfken Point south of the Pennefather R. The replica used to spend the dry season in Cairns and the wet in Brisbane. Eventually I think the Port Authority or Council cried poor and it ended up in Fremantle. It was certainly a small and relatively open vessel for such a long voyage. (Don't know why photos revert to original orientation when submitted - sorry)
FollowupID: 806376

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