Woman with some children sitting on the steps at Woorabinda, June 1953 Negative: 182707
Thomas Napoleon, Richard Loby and Beryl Phillips on the steps of the Woorabinda Hospital, 1953.  Negative 182705
Five nurses and one wardsman at the Hospital in Woorabinda, June 1953 Negative 182703
Thomas Napoleon at Woorabinda, 1953 Negative 182697
Young child crying at Woorabinda Negative 186847


The original people at Woorabinda are known as the Wadjigu.  The Dr Horton Aboriginal Australia Language Map highlights its location http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/pathways.asp.  The South Australian Museum Tindale catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes states that this group was also known as the Wadja, Wainjago, Wainjigo, Wadjainggo and Wainggo. 

Woorabinda was named by Mr H.C. Colledge, first Superintendent of the Settlement.  There are differences of opinion as to the meaning of the word Woorabinda.  It has been suggested as meaning “Kangaroo that Sits Down”, “Kangaroo Camp” and “Camp at Waterhole”. Woorabinda is about 170 km south-west of Rockhampton in Queensland's central highlands.

The Woorabinda mission was founded in 1926.  Many of the first residents of Woorabinda were from the Taroom Mission.  Taroom was established in about 1910 near the banks of the Dawson River.  Early in 1923, it was suggested that the mission may have to be relocated due to the proposed Dawson River irrigation dam.  In 1926, another site in the Duaringa District was secured as the new location for the Taroom Mission, this become Woorabinda. 

In September 1926, the site commenced to be prepared for its new occupants with the clearing of ground, building of dams and the construction of bridges.  The original families arrived from the Taroom area, Dawson Valley, Emerald, Carnarvon Gorge, Clermont, Lower Dawson and Maranoa areas.  They had no tribal ties or alliances.  The initial population of Woorabinda was about 900 people.  When the families arrived there were no buildings so they constructed their own shelters, gunyahs of bush timber and bark, until building materials became available.  Mr Colledge was the architect & town planner of Woorabinda, designing it like an English village with avenues of trees and lanes.

The Sarah Moonlight (18mths) was the first person from Taroom to die at Woorabinda in 21st June 1927.  The first recorded death was Mr. Willie Watts who died of pneumonia on 27th May 1927 aged 65   

The first birth recorded at Woorabinda occurred on 29th June 1927 when a daughter was born to Alf & Gypsy Tyson.  The first marriage at Woorabinda was between Jack Bell and Mabel Reid on 23rd October 1927. 


Sources: Woorabinda 1927-1977 : golden jubilee year

Woorabinda is an Aboriginal community in central Queensland, Australia, inland of Rockhampton. At the 2006 census, Woorabinda had a population of 851.

Woorabinda was first established in 1927 as a replacement for the Aboriginal camp at Taroom. People from at least 17 different language groups were forcibly placed in the camp and were under the control of the Chief Protector of Aborigines.

In 1942, during World War II, a Lutheran Aboriginal mission at Cape Bedford on Cape York in far North Queensland was closed and the Aboriginal people were forcibly relocated to Woorabinda. Many died from sickness due to the poor sanitation and inadequate shelter from the frost and cold winter nights of the inland climate. One estimate puts the number of deaths of Bedford people during this period at 235. The survivors were allowed to return to Cape Bedford in 1949 to what is now known as Hopevale.

The Woorabinda community is the only DOGIT Aboriginal community within the Central Queensland region. DOGIT communities have a special type of land tenure which applies only to former Aboriginal reserves. The land title is a system of community level land trusts, owned and administered by the local council.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woorabinda,_Queensland


Woorabinda news,  Woorabinda Aboriginal Settlement

Clements, J.C. (Edited) Woorabinda 1927-1977 : golden jubilee year /, Woorabinda Golden Jubilee Committee, Woorabinda, 1977

John Oxley LIbrary Original Material, OM 91-52 Theresa Forde Box 9245 O/S

John Oxley Library Original Material, APA -111 Smith Family Photograph Album Box 7211

McIvor, Roy (2010). Cockatoo: My Life in Cape York. Stories and Art. Roy McIvor. Magabala Books. Broome, Western Australia. ISBN 978-1-921248-22-1.

Alphabetical Indigenous of Norman Tindale Collection which holds Woorabinda Mission people during 1938

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