Roebourne

Roebourne, in the North West of Western Australia (WA), gazetted a town in 1866, is the oldest town between Geraldton and Darwin and is situated 30 kilometres east of Karratha. Many fine old stone buildings still remain as a constant reminder of the early years.

Roebourne was named after Sir John Septimus Roe, the first Surveyor General in Western Australia in 1864.

John & Emma Withnell were the early white settlers to Roebourne, originally travelling the 13km upstream from Cossack in search of fresh water, discovering “Ieramargadu” pronounced (Ira muga doo) pool on the Harding River. This was the place that they decided to establish Mount Welcome Station, now the town site of Roebourne.

Many of the original buildings in and around this historic town have been restored and provide an insight into these early pioneering times, when it was home to the Shire of Roebourne and regarded as the capital of the North West. Although the original old building still stands, the Shire Administration Centre and offices are now situated in Karratha.

Roebourne land falls within the boundaries of the Ngaluma people. The Ngaluma land is from the Maitland River of approximately 6,400 sq km.

In the 1930′s, Indigenous from neighbouring tribes were moved onto a Reserve in Roebourne. Yindjibarndi, Bunjima, Gurrama and Marduthunia tribes were all mixed together.

The dominate language group in Roebourne are the Yindjibarndi.