Plan of Wybalenna - click to expand
Wybalenna, meaning Black Man’s House, was the name of an Aboriginal mission established on Flinders Island in 1833. Around 300 Aboriginals were ‘delivered’ there during its time as a mission.
The site was poorly chosen; being exposed to the weather, having a poor, limited supply of water and land barely suitable for cultivation. Supplies were not delivered often enough, nor were the rations provided sufficient. The Aboriginals relied on the supply of provisions from the sealers and the sourcing of traditional foods on Flinders Island and the other outposts.
The conditions, rations, displacement and illnesses all had a devastating effect on the Aboriginals at the mission. During the time of operation of Wybalenna many Aboriginals succumbed to illness and despair and were buried at the mission site, both in marked and unmarked graves. In 1847 when the mission closed only 47 Aboriginals were still alive but they were all suffering from some degree of pulmonary disease.