Northam – 1870s-1880s

A report in The Perth Gazette in 1871 [xviii] reflects the attitudes of the time:
A Noongar woman died whilst saving her child from drowning in a well

Pastoralist and writer, Edward Curr referred to the ‘Ballardong or Ballerdokking’ area in his influential four-volume commentary, The Australian Race: Its Origins, Languages, Customs, published between 1886 and 1887.[xix]

The 1891 Census (one of the first of its kind), estimated that 173 Noongar people resided in the Northam -Toodyay region. These figures Noongars take with a grain of salt, as not all Noongars could possibly be recorded.

Noongars mainly earned a living as shepherds or as servants on stations and in homesteads. When pastoral areas were fenced, Noongar shepherds lost their jobs. Many took up work in ‘fencing, clearing, and railway construction works. Others earned a living as kangaroo hunters and police-assistants.’ [xx]

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