Wadjemup online database

A history of Aboriginal incarceration at Rottnest Prison 1900 to 1931.

The Wadjemup online database provides unique insight into the lives of Aboriginal people who were incarcerated on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island). It was developed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ Aboriginal History WA unit as a resource for Aboriginal people seeking to establish family connections to the former prison on the island.

For about 100 years, more than 3000 Aboriginal people throughout the state were imprisoned on Wadjemup, often for petty offences or tribal acts, and in rarer instances, for serious crimes. Details of the Aboriginal people sent to the island during the final 31 years of the prison's operation (1900 to 1931) are included in the database, along with many unseen photographs.

While most of the information recorded is publicly available, a small percentage is sensitive and is only available to the direct descendants through a family history application process built into the database.

The department acknowledges and pays tribute to the Aboriginal people who were sent to the island and their descendants, many of whom were involved to the making of the database.

Wadjemup — The Land Beyond the Shore

A history of Aboriginal incarceration on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) between 1900-1931.

Page reviewed 08 March 2021