On the mixed legacy of Aboriginal missions

John Briggs weighs a complex history.



John Briggs weighs a complex history.


Me personally until I looked into a bit further that the impact that the missions had, I always think that we were better off with the missions system. Look, I know, and from learning, that they weren’t all good, in particular, when culture and language were taken away, when people were forbidden to speak language or practice culture. And I guess that was a part of government policy, I think the missionaries were still following government policy and at the time, and this is what I guess a lot of people don’t understand, you’ve got to put yourself back in those times. You can’t think today and then think a hundred years ago when all this was happening, it was completely different times. Things were different. So I think that the missionaries probably done a lot of things that they weren’t happy about, given that they were guided by policy. You know I’ve been to Hermannsburg and places like that and seen the legacy of the missionaries there and there was a few bad things there. But generally the well-being of people was good.