Killalpaninna Mission

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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 name: Killalpaninna 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 Bethesda Mission) was a Lutheran Aboriginal mission 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 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 Coopers 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 mission station declined by the start of World War I and was closed by the government in 1915.[2] At that time, there were 70 Aboriginal children living at the mission.[3]

After the mission closed, the station became an ordinary cattle station.[3] The school continued to operate until 1917, when the government closed all Lutheran schools.[3]

The station was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 8 November 1984 under the name, "Killalpaninna Mission Historic Site."[4]


  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 2017-05-09.
  3. ^ a b c "Killalpaninna Mission (1867 - 1915)". Find & Connect Support Service. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  4. ^ 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).