Killalpaninna Mission
Bethesda Church Killalpaninna B-17098 State Library of South Australia.jpg
Bethesda Church at the Mission just before demolition. Standing at the doorway is Helen Vogelsgang.
LocationEtadunna, South Australia[1]
Coordinates28°35′53″S 138°33′22″E / 28.597995°S 138.556011°E / -28.597995; 138.556011Coordinates: 28°35′53″S 138°33′22″E / 28.597995°S 138.556011°E / -28.597995; 138.556011
Official nameKillalpaninna Mission Historic Site
Designated8 November 1984
Killalpaninna Mission is located in South Australia
Killalpaninna Mission
Location of Killalpaninna Mission in South Australia

Killalpaninna Mission, also known as just Killalpaninna, or alternatively Bethesda Mission, was a Lutheran mission for Aboriginal people in northeast South Australia, whose site is now located in the locality of Etadunna.[1] It existed from 1866 to 1915.

The mission was founded by two German missionaries, Johann Friedrich Gößling and Ernst Homann, and two lay brethren, Hermann Vogelsang and Ernst Jakob. After a difficult three-month journey from Tanunda, they established their mission station at Lake Killalpaninna (about 40 km south of Cooper's Creek) and tried to convert the Dieri (Diyari) people to Christianity.[2] Anthropologist and linguist Carl Strehlow worked on the mission from 1892 to 1894, before moving to Hermannsburg. Strehlow and Johann Georg Reuther translated Christian works into the Diyari language, and also documented the grammar and vocabulary of the language.

The South Australian Royal Commission on the Aborigines gathered evidence from the mission in 1914, and recommended that the mission be taken over by the government.[3][4][5] The mission was closed by the state government in 1915.[2] At that time, there were 70 Aboriginal children living at the mission.[6]

After the mission closed, the station became a cattle station. The school continued to operate until 1917, when the government closed all Lutheran schools.[6]

The station was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 8 November 1984 under the name "Killalpaninna Mission Historic Site".[7]

See also

Other 19th century Aboriginal missions in SA


  1. ^ a b "Search result for "Killalpaninna Mission" with the following datasets selected - "Suburbs and Localities", "SA Heritage Places Indicative Footprints" and "Gazetter"". Location SA Map Viewer. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b Nutting, Dave. "Killalpaninna Mission". Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Royal Commission on the Aborigines (1913 - 1916)". Find & Connect. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Royal Commission on the Aborigines" (PDF). South Australia. Government Printer. 1913. Retrieved 18 February 2020. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Chapter 8 South Australia". Bringing Them Home. 1995. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Killalpaninna Mission (1867 - 1915)". Find & Connect Support Service. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  7. ^ Hopgood, D.J. (8 November 1984). "SOUTH AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE ACT, 1978 Entry of Items on the Register of State Heritage Items" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. pp. 1493–1495. Retrieved 21 June 2019. Killalpaninna Mission Historic Site, Killalpaninna via Marree 5733. CL. volume 1340 folio 29, block 751, out of hundreds (Kopperamanna).