The first Australian colonial contact occurred in 1953, but the Gainj remained largely unaffected by the colonial government until the establishment of Simbai Patrol Post, 30 kilometers to the west, in 1959. The area was declared pacified in 1963, and male labor recruitment for coastal plantations began immediately and continues today. The Anglican church established a mission in 1969 and a school in 1974, now administered by the provincial government. A major event in Gainj history was the introduction of coffee as a cash crop in 1973, which has led in recent years to the development of a road and an airstrip in the area. Both pacification and these new routes out of the valley have led to more extensive relations with neighboring groups and the migration of some Gainj into the lowland areas near Aiome.