In September 1933, The Aboriginal Protection Board moved 250 or so Ngiyampaa people from the Carowra Tank mission to Menindee by truck and train.
This same year saw the establishment of the Menindee Aboriginal Station on a site of 400 hectares on the Darling 11 km from Menindee. The population of this “Mission” was made up of Paakantyi people from Menindee, Wilcannia, Pooncarie Reserve and Broken Hill, together with the Ngiyampaa people from Carowra Tank.
The Aboriginal people there were shocked because the Mission had been built on a burial site. They were forced to live in confined spaces, sharing huts with as many as 13 people, and denied basic necessities such as a bathroom and fresh water. This in turn created health problems, such as the 1937 outbreak of tuberculosis.
By the late 1940s conditions at Menindee Mission were a well-known scandal and in 1949 it was closed. The people were given the choice of going to new “model housing” at Murrin Bridge or staying on in Menindee.
Menindee Mission was of course not a Christian mission, but a Government Aboriginal Station. Aboriginal people tend to call all government housing a “mission”, so we get the Wilcannia Mission, which is actually a Reserve.
From the book Changing times along the Darling, 2009.