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Museums in The Kimberley

Museums in The Kimberley


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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.

Durack Homestead Museum

The magnificent homestead was originally built in 1895 by the Durack family on Argyle Downs Station. The famous Durack family home became known as one of the social gathering places of the Kimberley.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

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

Description

Constructed of handcrafted limestone blocks with crushed termites mounds used as mortar, it was a magnificent building for its time. During the early 1970’s a decision was made to remove the homestead before Lake Argyle began to fill in order to preserve this magnificent building for all time. The homestead was dismantled stone by stone with every stone coded in such a way so as to be able to be rebuilt with every stone back in its original position. The homestead now lives on as a museum dedicated to the pioneering spirit of the Durack Family. The Historic Durack Homestead Museum is operated by the Kununurra Visitor Centre and is open to the public daily from April to September. For further enquiries or out of season viewings please contact the Visitor Centre on (08) 9168 1177 or by email: [email protected] Note: small fee payable upon entry to museum grounds

Kununurra Museum

In 2017 visit Kununurra Museum to see the Wirraway-Challenge Display or view it on YouTube (link below)

  • Museums:Local History,Military

Details

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

Description

March 20th 2017 will mark 75 years since the forced landing of Wirraway A20-62, on the far north Kimberley NT-border coastal saltmarsh after engine failure over the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. From an East Kimberley at war, comes a story of survival of two RAAF 12 Squadron pilots who force-landed Wirraway A20-62 on March 20th 1942, and subsequent rescue by Charlie Pretlove and four Aboriginal stockmen form Carlton Hill Station.

In 2005 (on March 20th when they got the pilot, Lew Dwyer to Kununurra to open the display, he was pleased to meet descendants of those Aboriginal stockmen who had gone out on horseback to rescue them. The rescuers in 1942 were Waddi Boyoi (Head Stockman), his brother Joe, Grant Njabidg [and George Carlton]. Just weeks after Darwin's first air-raid, this was the same day as air-raids on Broome and Derby, so their forced-landing may have been a blessing in disguise, as their mission to Drysdale (River Mission), may have meant an encounter with the enemy.

March 20th - 'Wirraway-Challenge' Day (annually) at the Kununurra Museum, run by the Kununurra Historical Society. [Wirraway means Challenge!] 

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. 

Wharfingers House Museum

Discover more about Derby’s history, including its role in early aviation and the story of the SS Colac, which was damaged beyond repair after grounding just south of the Derby jetty in 1910.

  • Museums:Aviation,Local History
  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:By Appointment Only

Description

The Wharfinger’s House was constructed in 1928 on the site of what was the Derby Water Police Station. The building itself is a good example of the North West Regional or tropical style of building in the early twentieth century. The wide verandahs provide shade and ventilation to the three central rooms which now house the museum. The Wharfinger’s House and the Wool Shed are the most visible reminders of the early port activities in Derby.A display of art created at the Bungarun Leprosarium may also be seen.

The Wharfinger's House Museum opens on request, and the key is available from the Derby Visitor Centre.

Wyndham Museum

The Wyndham Museum is located in the old Court House, opposite the hotel, and is open each day from 10am to 4pm. Local art and craft is on display. Local art and crafts are also on display at the Boab Gallery, open each day from 10am to 4pm and situated on the corner of O'Donnell and Foreshore Roads.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

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

Description

Old Derby Gaol

Gaol dating back to 1906 adjacent to current police station. A great insight into how prisoners were treated in the early days of settlement.

  • Historical Sites:Prisons

Details

Description

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