Mainland communities F-G

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

Fantome Island | Fitzroy Island | Foleyvale | Fraser Island | Gayndah | Georgetown | Gorge Mission | Gregory Downs

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

Fantome Island

Fantome Island was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in 1925. Aboriginal patients suffering from venereal disease were first taken to the island in 1928. Fantome Island became part of the Palm Island reserve in 1938. The island was proclaimed a lazaret in 1939 and opened in January 1940. All Aboriginal patients from the lazaret on Peel Island in Moreton Bay were transferred to Fantome Island in 1940.

In 1941 it was decided that as a treatment facility for venereal diseases and a lazaret existed on Fantome Island, the areas allocated to the two institutions should be clearly defined. This resulted in half the Island being re-gazetted as a reserve for Health Purposes (for the reception and medical treatment of lepers) and the other half re-gazetted as a reserve for the medical treatment of Aboriginals suffering from venereal disease.

Nearby Orpheus Island was also considered as a place to establish a camp for Aboriginal people suspected to have leprosy. In 1939 the island was visited by missionaries from Mona Mona mission who were seeking to remove suspected lepers from Mona Mona. Orpheus Island, however, was found to be an unsatisfactory location and no suspect camp was ever established.

In 1945 the Lock Hospital was closed down and the administration of the lazaret was taken over by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. According to the 1944/45 Annual Report of the Director-General of Health and Medical Services the use of penicillin at Palm Island had made it possible to close the isolation settlement at Fantome Island. The lazaret on Fantome Island did not close until around 1973 when the remaining six patients were removed to Palm Island. In 1975 the island was de-gazetted as a reserve for the treatment of leprosy patients.

Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island situated about 3 miles southeast of Cape Grafton was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in June 1907 having previously been a quarantine station.


An Aboriginal reserve at Foleyvale was gazetted in February 1946. Various amendments to the reserve were made up until 1986 when the reserve was cancelled.

Fraser Island

In 1871 a Primitive Methodist lay preacher, Edward Fuller, founded a mission on Fraser Island in the hope of bringing the Aboriginal people on the island under the influence of the church. Fuller had little success on Fraser Island and the mission was moved to the Noosa River in 1872.  An Aboriginal reserve at Lake Weyba was gazetted on 13th July 1872. The mission again made little progress and was abandoned in 1873. The reserved land however was not cancelled until 1878 and not opened to selection until 1879.

The Rev. Fuller went on to try to establish a mission on Hinchinbrook Island and Bellenden Plains in North Queensland. Both failed and he returned to Ipswich where he eventually became manager of the Deebing Creek Mission.

In 1897 another attempt at establishing a mission on Fraser Island was made by Archibald Meston. An Aboriginal reserve near Bogimbah on Fraser Island was gazetted on the 7th of December 1901. Fifty one Aboriginal people from Maryborough were brought to the Island. In 1902 the mission was placed under the control of the Anglican Board of Missions. In 1904 the mission was closed and the remainder of the inhabitants moved to Yarrabah.


In November 1901 an Aboriginal reserve consisting of 28 000 acres was gazetted at Gayndah on the Auburn River. This reserve was cancelled in 1906.

In 1913 an area of 9 acres and one rood in the parish of Gayndah was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve.


In 1888 four square miles of land which had been resumed from the Box Hill Runs numbers four and five were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve.

In December 1935 five acres of land were gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve at Georgetown. [Further research required]

Gorge Mission (Mossman)

In February 1916 an Aboriginal reserve consisting of 64 acres was gazetted about two miles from Mossman. The Gorge Mission was founded by Sister Hetherington who was associated with the Assemblies of God Church.

A letter from the Director of Native Affairs to a Mr. Herbert Drake in 1940, stated that "although this camp of natives is situated on an Aboriginal reserve on which Miss Hetherington has been permitted to take up work she holds no official appointment under this Department and is carrying on her work in a purely private capacity. The letter also stated that the number of people living at the reserve included six males, six females and eight children.

Gregory Downs

In April 1936 160 acres of land were gazetted as an Aboriginal Reserve at Gregory Downs. Amendments to the reserve boundaries were made in 1965 and 1975.

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

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