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Historical Agricultural and Pastoral Leases
‘Historical Agricultural and Pastoral Lease Applications by Aboriginal People throughout Western Australia 1887-1933’ and ‘Moore River Native Settlement’ have been researched and compiled by the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries’ (DLGSC) Aboriginal History WA Unit.
 
The unique publications promote reconciliation through truth-telling and educate the community on the contributions of Aboriginal people to the State. 
 
‘Historical Agricultural and Pastoral Lease Applications’ sheds new light on Aboriginal people’s involvement in Western Australia’s agricultural and pastoral early development. 
 
It shows that between 1887 and 1933 at least 440 applications for land leaseholds were made by Aboriginal men and women. However, while most of the applications were approved, due to stringent legislative conditions and financial constraints the majority were abandoned or forfeited.
 
The publication lists applications alphabetically, with the lease applied for and a map showing the location of the lease, making it an invaluable resource for descendants seeking to locate leases once held by their ancestors. 
 
‘Moore River Native Settlement‘ provides people researching their Aboriginal history with a timeline and burial register of the settlement, which was originally conceived as a self-sustaining agricultural community and education centre for Aboriginal people. 
 
However, over 35 years of government management it became a place of forced incarceration under the 1905 Aborigines Act, and death from disease was commonplace. Most West Australian Aboriginal families have a connection to Moore River with at least 5000 Aboriginal people having lived there throughout the life of the settlement. 
 

The publications are available to download along with other useful publications and resources for people researching their Aboriginal history. A limited number of printed copies are also available for Aboriginal community organisations.

Agricultural and Pastoral Leases

History of Moore River Native Settlement

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Page reviewed 06 May 2022