Mainland communities L-M

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

Laura | Laura River | Lloyd Bay | Lockhart River | Mackay | Mapoon | Mareeba | Marie Yamba | Mitchell (East) | Mitchell River | Mona Mona | Moreton Bay | Mornington Island | Mount Carbine | Mount Garnet | Mount Isa | Myora

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


In August 1967 23 acres of land were officially gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve at Laura. The site had been used for many years previously as an Aboriginal camping ground and burial site.

Laura River - see Boggy Creek Run

Lloyd Bay - see Lockhart River

Lockhart River

Following a visit to Lloyd Bay in 1907, the Chief Protector of Aboriginals declared it to be "an ideal place to form an Aboriginal reserve".   In March 1908 an Aboriginal reserve of about 985 square miles was proclaimed at Lloyd Bay. In January 1912 the Lloyd Bay reserve was abandoned in favour of a reserve on the Pascoe River. The new reserve included the parishes of Weymouth, Pascoe, Canoe, Lloyd, Westbury and Lockhart and covered an area of 375 000 acres.

In 1924 an Aboriginal reserve was gazetted consisting of 380 400 acres in the County of Weymouth, parishes of Lockhart, Sherrand, Atholl, Chilcott, Arran and Cremorne. This reserve was placed under the control of Stephen Harris Davies and Cornelius O'Leary.


An Aboriginal mission at Mackay was established in 1870 by the Catholic Church. In 1871, 14 080 acres were set aside as a reserve for Aborigines.   In 1875 and 1878 amendments to the description of the reserve were made and the area reduced to 10 000 acres.

In June 1873 in response to a petition by certain Mackay residents, the Government appointed Trustees to control the temporary reserve near Mackay. The Government at this time also appointed four Commissioners to deal with the petition and make recommendations to improve the living conditions of Aborigines in the Mackay district and in Queensland generally.  The Commissioners released a report in 1874 responding to the Mackay petition and were made Superintendents of the reserve which was given permanent status.

In 1876, 14 000 acres at Cape Hillsborough in the County of Carlisle just north of Mackay were gazetted.  In 1879, 90 percent of the Mackay Reserve was revoked.  During the following year the school on the reserve also closed due to a lack of funds.  The reserve was further reduced to 630 acres in 1882.  In May 1885 the reserve was finally de-gazetted.


Mapoon was established in 1891 at the mouth of the Batavia River. The Mission was run by Moravian missionaries on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, with the Queensland Government also providing financial assistance. Over time the reserve was extended south to the Mission River near Weipa and in July 1904 land consisting of 1 000 square miles was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve at Mapoon.  In October 1901 Mapoon was gazetted as an industrial school under the Queensland Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act.

At a conference of Presbyterian Church and government officials held at Mapoon in April 1954 a decision was made to close the mission and evacuate the residents to Weipa or other stations. The Government commenced building a replacement community at Hidden Valley near Bamaga in 1961. By June 1962 approximately 100 people had moved to the new settlement named New Mapoon. In November 1963 the forced removal of the remaining Mapoon families began. Several houses were burned down by the authorities and by 1964 the entire settlement had been demolished.

In the 1970s several former residents returned to Mapoon and a new community developed. On 26 April 1989 a Deed of Grant of Land in Trust covering 1 839 square kilometres was given to the residents of Mapoon by the Queensland Government.


In December 1929 an area of 15 acres was gazetted a reserve as a camping reserve for Aboriginal people at Mareeba. The reserve was under the control of two trustees, William James Gall and the Chief Protector John Bleakley. According to the annual report of the Department of Aboriginal and Island Advancement for 1977, the Mareeba reserve was no longer in use.

Marie Yamba

Located on the Andromache River about 25 miles south of Proserpine, Marie Yamba was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve in 1887. The reserve became a Scandinavian Lutheran Mission and in 1899 it was placed under the control of Rev. C. Frieboth. In February 1900 three trustees, JFG Foxton, WE Parry-Okeden and WE Roth were appointed. In his annual report for the year 1902 Roth reported that the mission had been closed and 24 inmates had been removed to Cape Bedford (Hopevale) station.

Mitchell (East)

In May 1936 an Aboriginal reserve was created in the east Mitchell district next to the Maranoa River. 26 acres were excised from a camping, water and road reserve. No trustees were appointed to the reserve and over time the original residents living on the reserve left the area. They were replaced by Aboriginal people who had become exempt from the provisions of the Act and were working in the Mitchell district. The reserve was cancelled in April 1955 following a debate over who was responsible for maintaining sanitary facilities and buildings on the reserve. The Booringa Council argued that the area was an Aboriginal reserve and therefore the Queensland Government's responsibility and not the council’s. The then Sub-Department of Native Affairs also refused to claim responsibility on the basis that the residents on the reserve were exempt and therefore not under the Department's control.  Following the cancellation of the reserve it was proposed to reserve the area as a camping place controlled by the Booringa Shire Council (now Maranoa Regional Council) which would act as Trustee.

Mitchell River - see Kowanyama

Mona Mona

Administered by the Seventh Day Adventists, Mona Mona was established in 1913 when 4 000 acres near Kuranda on the banks of Flaggy Creek were gazetted as an Aboriginal Reserve for the inhabitants of Kuranda. Philip Bulpit Rudge was the first superintendent of Mona Mona and Isabella Rudge was appointed Matron. Most of the Aboriginal people removed to Mona Mona were Djabuganjdji people from the Kuranda district. The mission was closed in 1962.

See also For family history information relating to Mona Mona refer to genealogies recorded by Norman Tindale in 1938. The Tindale Genealogical Collection is available to view through the the John Oxley Library. Access conditions apply.

Moreton Bay - see Zion Hill

Mornington Island

A Presbyterian mission was established at Gununa on Mornington Island in 1914. The first missionary on the island, Rev. Robert Hall, was killed by an Aboriginal man in 1918 after he refused to give him tobacco. All missionaries were evacuated from the Island during World War Two. Aboriginal families from Bentinck Island were removed to Mornington Island after a destructive tidal wave contaminated their water supplies in 1948.

In 1978 the Queensland Government took control of the island from the Uniting Church of Australia. The community protested the decision. Negotiations between the Commonwealth and State Governments led to the establishment of a local shire council on the island. The first elected Mornington Island Shire Council took control of local administration in 1979.

Mount Carbine

In December 1940 five acres was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve to be used by the Aboriginal people of Mt. Carbine. The land for the reserve was situated within the Herberton Gold and Mineral field and had been surrendered by the Brooklyn Pastoral Company. The reserve area was amended in October 1986.

Mount Garnet

Ten acres of land were set aside in the township of Mt. Garnet in August 1960 as an Aboriginal reserve. In 1968 this area was increased to 13 acres.

Mount Isa

In October 1951 an area of about 15 acres located in within the Cloncurry Gold and Mineral field was gazetted as an Aboriginal reserve to be used by Aboriginal people in the Mt. Isa district. In 1958 this reserve was cancelled and a new reserve situated on the Mt. Isa - Duchess Road in the parish of Heywood.

Myora - see Stradbroke Island

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

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