Friedrich Hagenauer

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An 1888 illustration of Hagenauer

Friedrich Hagenauer (1829–1909)[1] was a Presbyterian minister and missionary in Australia who established Ebenezer Mission and Ramahyuck mission.[2] Reverend Friedrich Hagenauer and Reverend F.W. Spieseke from the German Moravian Church were sent to Australia and established Ebenezer Mission station near Lake Hindmarsh, Victoria, Australia in 1859 in Wergaia territory.[2][3]

In 1863 Hagenauer established Ramahyuck Mission on the banks of the Avon River near Lake Wellington to house the members of the Gunai people who survived massacres and attacks in west and central Gippsland. The name combines "Ramah", the home of Samuel in the First Book of Kings, with "yuck", an Aboriginal term reputedly meaning "our place". The mission sought to discourage all tribal ritual and culture,[citation needed] and replace it with Christian values and European customs. The Mission closed in 1908 and the few remaining residents were moved to Lake Tyers Mission.

He played a significant role in lobbying the Board for the Protection of Aborigines (BPA) to introduce the nicknamed 'Half Caste Act' which forced Aboriginal people under 34 years of age with non-Aboriginal parentage to leave missions. This created much distress for Aboriginal people as outlined in letters written to the BPA which document requests for permission to visit family left on missions and for provision of basic needs from people struggling to survive in a racist settler society.[4]


  1. ^ Blake, L. J. "Hagenauer, Friedrich August (1829–1909)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Robert Kenny, pg 134-145, The Lamb Enters the Dreaming - Nathaniel Pepper and the Ruptured World, Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2007. ISBN 978-1-921215-16-2
  3. ^ Ian D. Clark, pp177-183, Scars on the Landscape. A Register of Massacre sites in Western Victoria 1803-1859, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1995 ISBN 0-85575-281-5
  4. ^ J. Cruikshank, A most lowering thing for a lady, in, J. Carey & C. McLisky, Creating white Australia, Sydney University Press, 2009, ISBN 9781920899424