Schwarz Hope Vale Mission photograph albums (0003-0020)

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Where: Queensland, Hope Vale, Australia

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When: 01 January 1900

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Creator: Schwarz, Georg Heinrich (1868-1959).

Location: Hope Vale, Queensland.

Further information: Schwarz, Georg Heinrich (1868-1959) Biography at German Missionaries in Australia - Griffith University.

Description: Lutheran missionary with Aboriginal children at Hope Vale Mission.

Biographical of Photographer: Georg Heinrich Schwarz was born on 31 January 1868 at Höchst near Frankfurt. He was the sixth of nine children in a Lutheran family and at age 15 he entered the Lutheran mission school in Bavaria. When he received his 'call' to Australia, he was ordained and travelled via England, arriving at Cape Bedford in September 1887. During his 55 years at Cape Bedford Schwarz became one of the most prominent missionaries in Queensland. Although naturalised he was interned during World War II and completely severed his links to Germany. He died in Cooktown at age 91 and was interred at Hope Vale, where he was known as Muni and is still remembered there with annual celebrations of Muni Day.

This was the first mission on Cape York Peninsula, and became the oldest surviving mission in north Queensland. It was initiated by Lutheran staff from Cooper Creek (South Australia) who established Elim and it became a stable community with the assignment of two young Neuendettelsau missionaries, Schwarz and Poland who stayed for 55 and 20 years respectively and added the Hope Valley site. The whole community was evacuated during World War II, because of its German missionary and lugger connections with Japanese. After the war Hope Vale was established on a new site. Outspoken and indomitable Missionary Schwarz is still remembered at Hope Vale which has remained a cohesive community and is home of a number of active and high profile indigenous activists.

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This image is from the 7983 Schwarz Hope Vale Mission photograph albums.

Cultural Care statement (disclaimer)
Users are advised that this Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander material may contain culturally sensitive imagery and descriptions which may not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Annotation and terminology which reflects the creator's attitude or that of the era in which the item was created may be considered inappropriate today. These photographs may contain images or names of deceased persons.

Conditions of use: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material is accessed and used in accordance with State Library's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections Commitments.


Owner: State Library of Queensland, Australia
Source: Flickr Commons
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    • 15/Jun/2023 04:24:01

    Lutheran involvement in the Cooktown area began in 1885 when missionary Johann Flierl stopped off at Cooktown on his way to New Guinea. He later received government permission to start a mission station. The original mission sites were at Elim and Cape Bedford. Elim became known as Hope Valley, and later Hope Vale. The Immanuel Lutheran Synod in South Australia supported work amongst the Gungu Yimidhirr people by sending missionaries C.A. Meyer, George Schwarz and Wilhelm Poland. At the outbreak of the Second World War the people, along with missionary Schwartz, were interned at Woorabinda, near Rockhampton, in Queensland. In just one month twenty eight people lost their lives with nearly a quarter of the people dying over the next eight years. In 1986 the community became the first to receive a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) and formed the Hope Vale Aboriginal Council. In 1997 a Native Title determination was made concerning the lands of the Hope Vale. Source:

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    • 15/Jun/2023 04:27:39

    The Guugu Yimithirr people like all Aborigines in Australia have been here for approximately 100,000 years. The Guugu Yimithirr first came to prominence in 1770 when they engaged with Captain James Cook and his crew on the good ship Endeavour. As is well known in history the Guugu Yimithirr hosted Captain Cook at present day Cooktown (Gungarr) for 7 weeks. During this time he not only had to repair the Endeavour he also met the Guugu Yimithirr people and engaged in dialogue along with Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson. They gathered a word list of the Guugu Yimithirr language and from this encounter the Guugu Yimithirr have been immortalised in the English language by giving the name to that giant hopping marsupial-Gangurru-Kangaroo. Hope Valley Mission was founded in January of 1886 by the Lutheran Missionary John Flierl. He was on his way to establish a mission in New Guinea but was held up in Cooktown and during the idle time he began work amongst the Guugu Yimithirr clans in Cooktown. He established himself as missionary on the Cape Bedford Aboriginal Reserve, choosing a spot on the bay north of Cape Bedford which he called Elim. Source: