Shark Bay’s Aboriginal Heritage
Aboriginal people first lived in Shark Bay some 30,000 years ago. They were possibly the first indigenous Australians to make contact with Europeans, and among the first to be described to the Western world by European explorers. Since European colonisation, the fortunes of Shark Bay’s Aboriginal people have fluctuated. Many have suffered exploitation and injustice. Today the history, traditions and achievements of Aboriginal people are recognised and celebrated, encouraging a resurgence of pride in identity, culture and language.
Shark Bay has a long history of use and occupation by Aboriginal people.
There are more than 100 Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, and possibly
many more yet to be discovered. Uncover Shark Bay’s ancient cultural history here
Shark Bay is the traditional country of three Aboriginal language groups:
the Malgana, Nhanda and Yingkarta. The Malgana name for Shark Bay
is Gathaagudu, which means “two bays”. Learn some local language here
the fascinating story of the Zuytdorp shipwreck survivors,
and the people who helped them.
Observations by French explorers provided insight into the traditional
life and customs of Shark Bay’s first people. Find out what they saw here
Shark Bay’s Aboriginal cultural heritage sites range from places of
ancient feasts and celebrations to places of modern-day pain and injustice.
The tragedy of the Lock Hospitals is recounted here
Aboriginal workers made a vital contribution to the region’s economic
about their achievements.
Today many Aboriginal people work in fishing, tourism and conservation
management. Find out
what the future holds!