The Mornington Island mission was established in 1914 by the Presbyterian Church, with assistance from Moravians missionaries.

It remained a mission until the Queensland government takeover of Aurukun and Mornington Island in 1978, when, like Aurukun, it became administered by Queensland Local Government.

Gully Peters Memorial Uniting Church: Click photos to see larger versions

Historical background

Mr Robert Hall, assistant superintendant at the Weipa Mission, was appointed by the church to establish the new Mornington Island Mission. He arrived there in 1914. However, on the night of 17 October 1917, Hall was murdered while away from the mission station on reconnaissance of the island.

According to J Graham Miller (2004, J G Miller Electronic Version © Southern Cross College), an Aborigine named Burketown Peter had returned from escapades on the mainland, demanding tobacco and work which Hall refused. “The Aborigine, with two accomplices, stalked Hall and battered him to death while he slept, took his gun and besieged the Mission for ten days. Two Aboriginal lads Gully [Peters] and Mami, saved the lives of the remaining mission staff and children. They later professed their faith.”After the murder trials Mrs Hall and her two children returned to New Zealand.

The present church building at Mornington Island is named in memory of Gully Peters.Hall is remembered by the church as a martyr for the Gospel.

According to the 2016 census, Mornington Island had a population of 1136 of which 86.8% are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Commissioning Service for Pastor Gewa Au, March 2018: Click photos to see larger versions

Newly renovated church building: Click photos to see larger versions

Members of the congregation