Aboriginal family history workshop in Busselton, Bunbury and Mandurah

Aboriginal family history workshop in Busselton, Bunbury and Mandurah

Information sessions that provide a chance to learn more about our Aboriginal history research will be held in Busselton, Bunbury and Mandurah.

The sessions will show participants how to apply for family history records, and genealogies that link Aboriginal ancestry back multiple generations.

Aboriginal History WA research officer Nadia Khalil said they provided access to Native Welfare files and other archives that could assist with personal and family history research.

"These records were created by previous government departments responsible for Aboriginal affairs from 1886 to 1972," she said.

"In Western Australia, successive state government agencies controlled the lives of Aboriginal people from 1905 until citizenship rights were granted in the late 1960s, and as a result, kept stringent details on the lives of many Aboriginal people.

"We also provide copies of the genealogies and photographs recorded by the anthropologist Norman Tindale throughout WA between the 1920's and 1960's."

Ms Khalil said their research unit was established as a direct result of the Bringing Them Home Australian Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families (1997).

"A number of recommendations including the need for individuals impacted by past government policies to have access to records about themselves, their families and origins for healing and reconciliation to occur," she said.

"The sessions will provide an opportunity to learn about the types of records available for family history research, and assistance to access these files.

"Due to the personal and confidential nature of the records, only the descendants of this family history are eligible to apply."

The sessions will also seek feedback on a research project exploring the history of imprisonment at Wadjemup (Rottnest Island).

Aboriginal History WA research officer Duane Kelly said they had been researching Aboriginal men who were sent to Wadjemup between 1900 and 1931.

Mr Kelly said they wanted to create a database about the lives of these men.

"We have created a biography of sorts for each individual person that was sent there for that period and the online database presents a biographic display and any photographs we identified as well," he said.

"We do want to connect descendants and relatives to these men, as well as, inform the wider community about the history of the island and what really happened there during the years of the prison."


11am to 1:30pm on November 23, 2020 at the Busselton Community Resource Centre, 21 Cammilleri Street, Busselton.


9am to 11:30am on November 24, 2020 at the DLGSC South West Office, 80A Blair Street, Bunbury


2pm to 4:30pm on November 24, 2020 at the DLGSC Peel Office, Suite 94, 16 Dolphin Drive, Mandura

This story Aboriginal family history workshop in Busselton, Bunbury and Mandurah first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.