Aboriginal history

Working with Aboriginal communities to connect people to Aboriginal history, promote reconciliation and celebrate the richness of Aboriginal history in Western Australia.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website may contain images and voices of deceased persons.
The department works in partnership with Aboriginal communities and other stakeholders to connect people to Aboriginal culture and history and promote reconciliation in the wider WA community. Our activities affirm and raise awareness of the richness and diversity of Aboriginal culture and history in WA.

Aboriginal history

Richard Wallery-Stack with a didgeridoo

Aboriginal History Research Services

Helping Aboriginal families with ancestral information through professional researchers, advice for native title and general research.

A history image of Aboriginal women peeling potatoes

Family history

Need help with your Aboriginal family history research? We may hold information in our collections about you or your direct ancestors.

Two Aboriginal men and an Aboriginal women in front of a tent

General research

This is a site for authors, academics, students, government agencies and people doing community history research or anyone with an interest in Aboriginal history in WA.


Native title

Native title researchers can request access to records to gather evidence relevant to a native title claim.

PALS funding



Funding for schools to celebrate Aboriginal culture in the classroom.

Publications and projects

Gnarla Boodja Mili Mili (Our Country on Paper)

Gnarla Boodja Mili Mili (Our Country on Paper)

An online interactive map acknowledging the names of Noongar places throughout the Perth CBD area, also known as Boorlo or Burrell in the Noongar language.
Moore River Native Settlement Centenary Photographic Collection cover

Moore River Native Settlement and Mogumber Cemetery Centenary

Moore River Native Settlement Centenary photographic collection​
No Less Worthy cover

No Less Worthy

A publication acknowledging the significant contribution of WA Aboriginal volunteers to the World War One effort.

Right Wrongs

'67 Referendum – WA 50 years on.
They Served With Honour cover

They Served With Honour

Untold Stories of Western Australian Aboriginal Servicemen at Gallipoli.


Aboriginal History WA helping Western Australians unlock their Aboriginal ancestry

Jun 3, 2020, 10:55 AM by Andrea Prestini
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt is encouraging Western Australians to use the services of Aboriginal History WA (AHWA) to learn about their Aboriginal ancestry, after gaining access to his own family records.

Image: Aboriginal children at Moore River Settlement Church, courtesy of the AHWA collection. Aboriginal viewers are advised that the above photograph may contain images of people who have died.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt is encouraging Western Australians to use the services of Aboriginal History WA (AHWA) to learn about their Aboriginal ancestry, after gaining access to his own family records.

The Healing Foundation recently identified 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.

The Minister, whose father was placed at Sister Kate's, a children's orphanage in Queens Park, previously accessed his family records to get a greater understanding of his ancestry and connection to country.

AHWA, a unit in the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, manages access to restricted historical records and provides information in response to requests.

It has a range of ways to locate family history and can create comprehensive genealogies. In the last financial year, AHWA responded to more than 300 applications for information.

The AHWA also undertakes historical projects that promote an in-depth understanding and awareness of Aboriginal history of Western Australia. These projects include the Gnarla Boodja Mili Mili map, which shows the traditional Aboriginal place names for the inner Perth area.

AHWA services align with a number of recommendations from the Bringing Them Home Report.

For more information, and to apply for this service, visit Aboriginal History WA on our website.

Read the full media statement.


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Page reviewed 05 August 2019