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Museums in Broome

Museums in Broome


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Broome Historical Society Museum

Broome Historical Society Museum offers an insightful look into Broome’s diverse cultural history.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Description

Take a walk through the charming 1890s former general store, which is now the town’s museum. Check out the well presented visual displays, photographs and artefacts to learn all about the history of Broome.

Find out about the town’s interesting pearling history which has developed into a world class export industry today. Learn about the terrifying Japanese attacks on Broome during World War II and the impact it had on the local residents and allies who had taken refuge there.

You will be intrigued by the tales of shipwrecks and missing diamonds which takes you on a journey of discovery into the development of a culture that has melded from a diversity of origins. Examine Aboriginal artefacts and memorabilia from the area and discover how the town of Broome became the first truly multicultural district in Australia.

Regarded as one of the best regional museums in Australia, it is located in the town centre of Broome which is a two and a half hour flight north of Perth. Check opening hours prior to visiting.

Pearl Luggers Museum

Discover Broome’s turbulent past as a frontier town built on the lure of the lustrous pearl at this museum, which features beautifully restored pearl luggers.

  • Museums:Local History,Maritime

Details

Description

Dive deep into Broome’s fascinating pearling history at the Pearl Luggers Museum, an expansive collection of diving artefacts situated on a replica tidal jetty. Learn about Broome’s early history, when the news of the riches of this frontier town spread around the world and enticed migrants to its shores. You’ll also hear dark tales of peril beneath the water’s surface.

Begin your learning experience at the Pearl Luggers Museum with a tour. You’ll see two magnificently restored original pearl luggers overlooking the mangrove-dotted Dampier Creek, where the hunt for the South Sea pearls began in the late 19th century. A knowledgeable guide will take you on a journey through history with an informative presentation and you will also see a short documentary that features rare archival footage from 1949.

During the tour, the pearling industry’s dark secrets, including the use of enslaved indigenous divers in the 19th century, will be revealed. Find out about the diverse nationalities who flocked to Broome with hopes to make their riches overnight and found a dangerous trade in a wild boomtown. Hundreds of divers were killed while working in the depths of Roebuck Bay. The divers’ legacies live on, however, as the multicultural influence of the Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Filipino and Pacific Islanders made Broome into the culturally rich town it is today.

 

Sisters of St John of God Heritage Centre

The Sisters of St John of God were founded in Ireland in 1871 and are an apostolic religious congregation of women.

  • Museums:Aboriginal,Local History

Details

Description

In 1907 nine Sisters arrived in Beagle Bay Mission, lead by Sr Antonio O’Brien, to minister to Aboriginal women and children. They responded to whatever works needed to be done and so commenced teaching, nursing, training of the older girls and a wide range of domestic duties.
 
In 1908 Sr Antonio, together with Sr Benedict Courtney, came by lugger to Broome with the intention of trying to establish a convent.  They had no money but were greatly assisted by the donation of a one room cottage near the church and some basics such as bedding provided by the Japanese and Chinese merchants.  Again they responded to needs and started St Mary’s School, took on nursing duties and taught music among other things.  They were soon accepted in Broome by all races and classes of people.
 
The story of these early years has been told in the film Sisters, Pearls & Mission Girls which has been made into a DVD. Another form of the story was written by Pat Jacobs, historian and author, in two essays published in the book Living on the Kimberley Pearling Coast: Sisters of St John of God in the Early Twentieth Century. Both are available from the Old Convent Shop. 
 
Over the remaining years the Sisters branched out undertaking a number of ventures in Lombadina and Derby, then further afield to the desert community of Balgo Hills Mission and later to the La Grange Mission (now Bidyadanga Community) south of Broome.
 
In 2007 the Sisters celebrated one hundred years of ministry in the Kimberley. 

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