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Germans in Queensland

150 Years


Edited By Andrew Bonnell and Rebecca Vonhoff

This collection of essays considers the contribution made by German settlers in Queensland over the last century and a half of the state’s history. The volume also analyses the role of other German travellers and visitors who have had an impact on the state. Over this period, Germans have been the most important non-British European settler population in Queensland. The work includes chapters on Germans in politics, science, music and the other arts, as well as German migrants, missionaries, and attitudes to the Australian tropics.


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The Trouble with Women – Lutherans and Missions in North Queensland. Regina Ganter


The Trouble with Women – Lutherans and Missions in North Queensland Regina Ganter Twenty years before Queensland became a separate entity, Germans were busy setting up the very first Aboriginal mission in what was to become the state’s capital, at Zion Hill.1 Actually Germans (or rather: German-speakers) shoul- dered an inordinately large share of the mission effort in Queensland. Up until the First World War they ran more than half the Aboriginal missions.2 Missiona- ries and a few philanthropists were the lone beacons of conscience on the violent Queensland frontier until 1897, the year when the state’s first Aboriginal Protec- tion Act was passed and the colonial government started to consider Indigenous people as part of its brief to administer. From that time, the government became quite intrusive in the running of the missions, and often critical of their aims and methods, but without countenancing to fund them. If they did reimburse for ra- tions it was at the rate of about a penny a meal. In some cases they also supplied a government teacher to make sure that lessons were conducted in English, ra- ther than in a local Indigenous language. The early German migrant communities always requested pastors from the seminaries in Germany, and in view of the widespread dislocation of Indigenous people and the scarce support from colonial governments, they also requested missionaries, offering to support them through fund-raising in their synods. The missionaries accounted for every dollar spent to a mission committee, and de- pended on the...

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