Lardil Contact History


Burketown Establishment


Gulf Fever


The relocation of Burketown residents to Sweers Island after outbreak of "gulf fever"

Attack on the Kaiadilt


Custom Officers shot at Kaiadilt people when they were fishing at Sweers Island

Mornington Island Visits

1900 - 1905

Due to commercial operators interest in the gulf region, visits by non-Indigenous peoples became more frequent.

Aboriginal Reserves Declaration


The Government declared all islands in the Wellesley group to be Aboriginal reserves, an attempt to exclude recruiters from the southern gulf region.

R. B. Howard Mornington Island Visits

1908 - 1914

In 1912, Howard appealed to the government to establish a "protectionist presence" on Mornington Island. In 1914, a mission was established. Missionary Rev. Hall arrived in May of 1914 to aid in the running of the mission.

Death of Rev. Hall

1917 - 1918

Rev. Hall was killed by a Kaiadilt man in 1917, and was replaced with Rev. Robert Wilson in 1918 by the government.

Kaiadilt Oral Histories


Oral histories refer to the murder of 11 Kaiadilt individuals.

Dormitory Establishment


Dormitories were introduced as a way to isolate children for their education and Christian conversion from their traditional culture.

Acquisition of Medical Assistance


It was used to treat health problems at the mission including hookworm, whooping cough, gastro enteritis and mosquito-born illnesses.

Denham Island Airstrip


The airstrip assisted missionaries to import food, medical services and equipment as well as other supplies to the mission.