Indigenous mission book to be released

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A photo of the Mona Mona Mission, believed to have been taken in the 1930s.

A new book detailing the history of the Mona Mona Mission, near Kuranda in Far North Queensland, will be released later this year, drawing on historical sources held by the Adventist Heritage Centre and Indigenous voices.

Once the Adventist Church’s best-known mission to Australia’s First People, Mona Mona closed in 1962, but is still considered to be a significant part of the heritage of Seventh-day Adventism in Australia.

“This book is an important step in exploring what life was like for those living in Mona Mona,” said Avondale College of Higher Education lecturer Dr Brad Watson, who initiated the project and is working with the Adventist Church in Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries (ATSIM) to co-fund the project.

“The Church was not perfect in how they treated the people, but I am hoping this book will lead to some sort of reconciliation,” said Lynelda Tippo, project co-researcher and ATSIM director for the Adventist Church in North New South Wales, who also grew up in Kuranda, near the Mission. “I really hope this project will be taken further, to see the legacy these places have for the Adventist Church in missions all over Australia.”

Dr Watson and Mrs Tippo would like to invite anyone who has information, pictures or film footage of Mona Mona to contact them. All historical records, whether they depict the Mission positively or not, are of high value to the project and will be credited to the owners in the book. Dr Watson can be contacted on 0488 220 574 or at brad.watson@avondale.edu.au.