What is Mibalafoto?
Mibalafoto (meaning our photos) is a collection of photos which are of historical significance to Aboriginal people of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. These photo collections were primarily taken by missionaries who worked in the Fitzroy Crossing mission between the years 1949 and 1986.
The purpose of this site is to give back to the people of the Kimberley a record of their family history and their story. Many people in the Kimberley passed through the mission school, lived on the mission, or had some contact with missionaries. While history books have been written about the effects of mission and missionaries, very little is heard or seen from them or their actual stories. They worked hard with limited resources and income but gave their best. They loved God and went with genuine hearts to help Aboriginal people of the Kimberley. We hope you can see their heart in these photos and find more of the history of the Kimberley. Additional Collections will be added over time as they are donated. New additions will be featured on this page.
If you recognise someone in a photo and their name is not mentioned in the caption, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the name of the Collection and the photo number along with any information you have. Together we can piece together more of the history of the Kimberley.
The Making of Mibalafoto
The site came together after Keren Masters (nee Smoker) received numerous requests for photos taken by her parents Bruce and Pearl Smoker, who were missionaries in Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek from 1952 to 1974. After reviewing hundreds of photos and slides Keren realised her family had a valuable resource that could be shared. Since then, Keren has contacted other missionary families with similar photographic archives who have also been asked for copies of their photos. All have agreed to sharing their photos. The challenge then was how to connect people with these photos, and this website is the result.
The families who own the photographs have given permission for the photographs to be downloaded for personal use only. You must obtain the permission of the family to publish any of these photographs for the public, in any form of electronic or printed media other than through Mibalafoto.com.au. Please email your request to publish to email@example.com, stating your name, your organisation/ employer, the proposed use of the photograph(s) and the media in which you wish to publish the photographs. Your email will be forwarded to the respective family who will liaise with you directly, regarding your request to publish their photographs.