Mainland communities C

The following brief histories provide researchers with information concerning the creation of missions and reserves in Queensland.

Cairns | Camooweal | Cape Bedford | Cape Grafton | Cape York Settlement | Cardwell | Charters Towers | Cherbourg | Chillagoe | Cloncurry | Coen | Collinsville | Cooktown | Cowal Creek | Croydon

* See the pdf version [Document in PDF format 93 kb] with full bibliographic references

Cairns - Lyons Street and English Street Reserves (see also Queerah Aboriginal Mission)

The Lyons Street Aboriginal reserve was gazetted June 1938. A reserve on English Street was gazetted five years later in October 1943. In 1952 Aboriginal housing located at the English Street Reserve was moved to the Lyons Street reserve. According to George Skeen who was a small child living with his family at the English Street reserve at the time,

In 1952 the government wanted to use the land in English Street for conventional housing and the people in the English Street Reserve were resettled at the corner of Lyons and Hartley Streets. The houses were placed onto low loaders and transported to Lyons Street.

The English Street reserve was officially cancelled in November 1952. During the early 1950s many Aboriginal people from around the Cairns region were also camped at the Bungalow Railway Reserve, Bessie Point and White Rock although none of these were ever gazetted as official Aboriginal reserves.


In November 1940 15 acres of land were gazetted in the Parish of Camooweal as an Aboriginal reserve. The Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs became trustee of this reserve in 1969.

Cape Bedford - see Hopevale

Cape Grafton - see Yarrabah

Cape York Settlement

The term Cape York Settlement was a blanket name applied to what was to become Bamaga, Cowal Creek, Seisia, Umagico and later New Mapoon. In the Director of Native Affairs' annual report for the year ended 30 June 1953, Cape York Settlement is listed as an area comprising 97,620 acres with a total population of 350.


In 1878 32,000 acres were gazetted as a reserve for the use of Aboriginal people in the county of Cardwell, parish of Pitt.

Charters Towers

The first reserve in the Charters Towers district consisted of 110 square miles at a location known as Bluff Downs.  In his annual report for the year 1902 Roth described the reserve as almost "...impenetrable scrub situated on what is known as the "Wall" - an extraordinary basaltic mass." The reserve was cancelled in February 1914.

In 1938 15 acres of land were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve situated in the Charters Towers Gold and Mineral field. Another reserve consisting of 14 acres was gazetted in 1948 in the Parish of Charter Towers. This area was reserved for the accommodation of Aboriginal people passing through Charters Towers, but over the years transient Aboriginal workers stayed at the watch house. Eventually it was realised that the reserve was not being used for its original purpose and a more suitable site was found. In 1967 three allotments were reserved for building purposes under the control of the Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs, as trustee. In 1969 the two reserves gazetted in 1938 and 1948 were listed as being under the control of the Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs.

Cherbourg see Barambah


An area of about five acres located in the Chillagoe Gold and Mineral field was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in April 1933. In 1969 this reserve was placed under the control of the Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs, as trustee.


In August 1944 six acres of land were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve within the Cloncurry Gold and Mineral Field. In 1946 a building on Isley Street in Cloncurry was purchased by the Department of Native Affairs using money from the savings accounts of Aboriginal workers in the Cloncurry district. The building was purchased to provide accommodation for Aboriginal people coming into Cloncurry.  The land on which the building stood was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in the same year.

The reserve established in 1944 was cancelled by an order in Council in November 1967. Two years later in 1969 the Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs became the official trustee of the remaining reserve in Cloncurry.


14 acres were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve at Coen in May 1944. Over time some buildings were erected on the site, but in 1958 it was decided that the remaining land was not suitable for further building purposes and that an additional reserve be gazetted.  In 1961 13 acres of land on Small Gully was gazetted. This site was amended in 1986.


In October 1947 three acres were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve at Collinsville. The land was degazetted as an Aboriginal reserve on 31 May 1958, after being resumed by the Wangaratta Shire Council for a pumping station.


In December 1951 an area of 25 acres on the outskirts of Cooktown was set aside as an Aboriginal reserve. In 1986 the reserve area was amended to ten hectares.

Cowal Creek - see Injinoo


In 1939 the Protector of Aboriginals at Croydon wrote to the Chief Protector of Aboriginals advising of the existence of an Aboriginal camp at Croydon, known as the Waratah Aboriginal Camp. The possibility of gazetting the Waratah Camp as an Aboriginal reserve was raised but the local council expressed concerns about the camp’s proximity to the main road and aerodrome. Eventually another site located within the Croydon Gold and Mineral Field was chosen and an area of about 15 acres was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in November 1952. Despite appeals from the local council to the Department of Native Affairs no accommodation was erected on the reserve site until 1957 when a number of prefabricated steel huts were built. In the same year another five acres of land were added to the reserve area which allowed people living on the reserve to access a local well.

* See the pdf version [Document in PDF format 93 kb] with full bibliographic references

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