Point Pearce, South Australia
|Population||91 (2016 census)|
|LGA(s)||Yorke Peninsula Council|
Point Pearce, also spelt Point Pierce in the past, is a town in the Australian state of South Australia. The town is located in the Yorke Peninsula Council local government area, 194 kilometres (121 mi) north-west of the state capital, Adelaide. At the 2016 census, Point Pearce had a population of 91.
It is known for the mission established for Aboriginal people in the late nineteenth century. The location was originally known as Bookooyanna by the local Narungga people, usually spelt Bukkiyana in modern sources.
Established as Point Pearce Mission Station in 1868, it became the Point Pearce Aboriginal Station after it was taken over by the state government in 1915, as an Aboriginal reserve. In 1972, ownership was transferred to the Point Pearce Community Council under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966.
Also known as Point Pierce, it was one of several missions established in South Australia in the late 19th century, which included Poonindie (1850), Point McLeay (Raukkan, 1850), Killalpaninna (1866) and Koonibba (1898). Some of these missions were the basis for Aboriginal communities which persist until the present; they were among the few places in the southern part of South Australia where dispossessed and displaced Aboriginal people were welcomed, even if the primary aim was Christian evangelism.
Soon after the establishment of Adelaide in 1836, settler had begun moving into Yorke Peninsula. The British concepts of property ownership were incompatible with the Narunggas' nomadic lifestyle, resulting in the gradual displacement of the Aboriginal population. In 1868, the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission was established by the Moravian missionary Reverend W. Julius Kuhn.
A site of 600 acres (240 ha) for a settlement was granted on 2 February 1868 at a place known as Bookooyanna (spelt Bukkiyana in modern sources), about 70 kilometres (43 mi) south of Kadina. The Point Pearce Mission Station, run by the Yorke Peninsula Aboriginal Mission committee, initially attracted 70 Narrungga residents. Poor conditions and illness led to consequent deaths, and by 1874 only 28 remained.
In 1894, families from the closed Poonindie Mission were moved to Point Pearce. The mission operated a school, with a separate school house built in 1906. Many children of mixed European and Chinese descent were among the 31 pupils who enrolled.
As a result of the Royal Commission on the Aborigines on 1913, the South Australian government took over management of the mission in 1915 and it became known as the Point Pearce Aboriginal Station, an Aboriginal reserve. Included in the recommendations was that the government become the legal guardian of all Aboriginal children upon reaching their 10th birthday, and place them "where they deem best". Seven years after the Final Report of the Commission, the Aborigines (Training of Children) Act 1923, in order to allow Indigenous children to be "trained" in a special institution so that they could go out and work.
In 1972, ownership was transferred to the Point Pearce Community Council under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966.
Many of the buildings remain today.
Location and facilities
- Ivaritji (c. 1849 – 1929), Kaurna elder and last known speaker of the Kaurna language, lived there for many years.
- Gladys Elphick (1904 – 1988), founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, grew up there.
- Lewis O'Brien (b.1930), Kaurna elder, was born there.
- Alitya Rigney (1942 – 2017), Kaurna elder and scholar, who did much to revive the Kaurna language, was born there.
- Tauto Sansbury (c. 1949 – 2019), Indigenous activist, was born there.
- Natasha Wanganeen (b.1984), AFI award-winning actor grew up in Point Pearce.
Other 19th century Aboriginal missions in SA
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Point Pearce (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Yorke Peninsula". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011.
- Narungga (Map). Electoral District Boundaries Commission. 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
- Brock, Peggy (3 June 2015). "Aboriginal Missions". SA History Hub. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
- Hall, Lee-Anne. "Sitting down in the square: Indigenous presence in an Australian city". Humanities Research. 11 (1): 54-77. eISSN 1834-8491. Retrieved 20 November 2020. Another PDF
- Amery, Rob (2016). Warraparna Kaurna!: Reclaiming an Australian language (PDF). University of Adelaide Press. p. 12. doi:10.20851/kaurna. ISBN 978-1-925261-25-7. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- "Yorke Peninsula (Point Pearce) (1867-1915)". German Missionaries in Australia. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
- "Point Pearce Mission Station (1868 - 1915)". Find & Connect. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
- "Royal Commission on the Aborigines (1913 - 1916)". Find & Connect. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
- "Royal Commission on the Aborigines" (PDF). South Australia. Government Printer. 1913. Retrieved 18 February 2020. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 8 South Australia". Bringing Them Home. 1995. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
- E M Fisher (2007). Australian Dictionary of Biography: Elphick, Gladys (1904–1988). Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Natasha Wanganeen". Deadly Vibe. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
- "Aboriginal missions in South Australia: Point Pearce". LibGuides at State Library of South Australia. 2019.
- Kingston, Lucy (24 January 2020). "150 years of Point Pearce". South Australian Native Title Services Blog. (150th anniversary)
- "Kühn, Wilhelm Julius (1834-1913)". German Missionaries in Australia. 2 July 1913.
- "Point Pearce". SA Memory. State Library of South Australia. 2009.