Wantok Place is a museum of Papua New Guinea (PNG) artefacts owned by the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) and governed by the LCA Committee for International Mission. Wantok Place previously was called the Louise Flierl Mission Museum and housed in the old St Paul’s Lutheran Church Hahndorf (circa 1858) where it had first opened in 1998. This building was sold in late 2018 and in 2019 the museum was relocated to a newly refurbished site in the east wing of the LLL building at 175 Archer Street, North Adelaide.
The museum was originally named after the wife of the first Lutheran missionary, Johann Flierl who went to Papua New Guinea in 1886. The new name Wantok Place honours PNG culture through the use of the Pidgin word ‘wantok’ (translating to ‘one-talk’ in English), which means a speaker of the same language, friend, or partner.
The collection of 1500 artefacts has been collected from gifts from our partner churches, from our faithful current and former missionaries and their families who have donated nearly all artefacts over the years. Items from daily living and art forms from past centuries to the present give an understanding of the nature and culture of the people.
The collection of artefacts and historic photos of mission of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) Board for Mission (BfM) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and more recently in South East Asia since 1886, highlights the influence of the Word of God on the people, heritage and culture of our partner churches. While visiting the museum you are able to view different items like the Bilum which is the universal carrier in PNG which can hold different items from food to babies! The symbol for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in PNG incorporates the Bilum, signifying Jesus carrying man’s burdens of sorrow, fear and sin. Other things you will see are storyboards carved out of wood which illustrate everyday life. Some storyboards crafted by carvers contain symbols of Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension.
The LCA BfM also has long-standing established partnerships with churches in PNG, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sabah (East Malaysia), Singapore and Thailand. Through these partnerships the LCA also participates in ministry and mission in countries beyond the borders of our partner Churches as they engage in mission with their near neighbours. This is evident particularly through extension work in China and Cambodia. We hope that you will enjoy viewing the collection.
A Committee of Management oversees and advises on the operation of the museum. The museum is staffed by volunteers supervised by a manager. You can download a flyer about the museum here