by Russell Guy
Sometime around 1930, an Irish pentecostal missionary, Isobella Hetherington arrived at Mossman in Far North Queensland. She was accompanied by an Aboriginal woman named Nellie who was a talented vocalist. Together they began ministering to the Kuku Yulanji Aboriginal people who had been forced to gather in small groups throughout the Daintree Rainforest.
Ten years later, a Mission was built on land purchased by the Assembly of God (Qld) beside the Daintree River and 50 to 70 people moved there. For the next 20 years, they grew bananas and pineapples, built homes and struggled with a government policy that controlled most aspects of their lives. This is the story of how, in a rapidly changing world, the Kuku Yulanji and the Missionaries sought to understand each other at a time before Reconciliation became a national objective.