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Louis Giustiniani

Usually known as Louis or Luis, the French and Spanish versions of whatever his Italian name was, he was the first (Moravian) missionary to the Swan River Colony. He was outspoken in defending Aboriginal Australians, but in doing so alienated the colony and was eventually removed from office.  After leaving Western Australia, Giustiniani became a Minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States.

Borowitzka Abstract:
In 1835, the Western Australian Missionary Society appointed the Reverend Dr Louis Giustiniani to establish a Moravian-style mission in the Swan River Colony. The land grant essential for such a mission was not forthcoming from the government but Giustiniani established a small mission farm employing Aborigines at Guildford and started ministry among the settlers. This change of mission focus set the stage for conflict within the Anglican establishment of the colony, conflict which destroyed Dr Giustiniani's ministry. Giustiniani was well qualified and exerted himself to achieve the mission's objectives and many accusations made against him were essentially false; they reveal much about the prevailing culture and prejudices of the colony. He was defeated, however, because his ideas of church and mission differed from those of the colonial Church and society and because he did not conform to their expectations of the behaviour of a clergyman.

References and Links

Borowitzka, L.J. 2011, 'The Reverend Dr Louis Giustiniani and Anglican conflict in the Swan River Colony, Western Australia, 1836-1838', Journal of Religious History, 35, 3: 352-373.

O'Brien, Jacqueline & Pamela Statham-Drew 2009, On We Go the Wittenoom Way: the Legacy of a Colonial Chaplain, Fremantle Press.


Garry Gillard | New: 17 May, 2022 | Now: 17 May, 2022