Local History - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to have a Local History Strategy?

Preserving and celebrating local history honours the past, and explains our roots including what it was like to live and work in our towns, what we used to do and what everything looked like. Knowing the local history gives us a better appreciation of how our towns and communities evolved, as well as a deeper understanding of the resilience and diversity of those who came before us. It reminds us that we belong to something special and makes us proud of our heritage.

What do you mean by ‘Local History’?

Local history is the cultural and social aspects of a place, including the people. This treasure chest of information and memories is what shaped the identity and character of our towns, and tells the story of the past.

What are the key features of the Local History Strategy?

The Strategy will outline how the Shire aims to preserve, collect, document, and promote the local history, for the next five years. It will focus on tangible things you can touch, see and hear such as photos, maps, books, videos, audio recordings, and artifacts, as well as intangible things you’re told about, or can be taught; language, skills and stories, local customs and traditions passed down through generations.

What does the Strategy hope to achieve?

There are many things we hope to achieve so we can honour the rich tapestry of the past. Here are some examples –

  1. Digitise old photos, videos, and audio recordings, including those from past and present residents and visitors.
  2. Record and share the details of use with a simple step-by-step computer system that the community can access.
  3. Preserve the stories, customs, and traditions of First Nations people.
  4. Celebrate and promote the history of our towns, as well as those that have lived or travelled through here

What will be omitted in the Local History Strategy?

It won’t include conservation or heritage management, meaning it won’t report on or provide advice on the condition or protection of old buildings, ruins, cemetery sites, or Aboriginal sites. These all sit within specific state government legislation and form part of other Shire strategies and planning requirements.

What about the former towns of Old Onslow and Wittenoom?

Yes, the Strategy will include Old Onslow and Wittenoom. These are important towns from the early years of the Shire.

Who is involved in developing the Strategy?

The Libraries team are leading the Strategy, and many other departments are also involved including Media and Communications, Records, Customer Service, Community Development, Visitor Centres, Planning and Lands, Asset Management, and Facilities.

The Shire has engaged Wicked Strategies, a consultancy specialising in Strategic Planning, Community Development, and Community Engagement, to work with the Shire in developing the Strategy. They will meet with Shire staff, Councillors, and the wider community to get your thoughts and understand what’s important to you about Local History.

How can the general community get involved?

We encourage anyone to get involved by sharing your ideas and providing feedback in the following ways:

  • Register your information by completing our Local History Strategy Expression of Interest Form
  • Talk to us as a Key Stakeholder in our Interview series
  • Participate in one of our History Buff Focus Groups
  • Come to one of our Community Information Pop Ups in any Town

Look out for information on our website and follow us on Facebook.

What do we do if we have photos, videos, or other things we can share with you?

Once the Strategy is completed, we’ll be asking the community to let us know what you can share with us, or even what you can donate to our archives. In the meantime, you can complete our Local History Strategy Expression of Interest Form and we’ll contact you to talk through the next steps.

What happens to my feedback?

All input into the Strategy is recorded. A public report will outline the engagement with the community including the various activities and the results of the survey.

How can we be updated on the progress of the Strategy?

Developing the Strategy takes many months, and we’ll keep you informed along the way. Look out for information on our website and stay up to date by following us on Facebook.

Will we see a draft of the Strategy?

Yes, the draft is proposed for mid-2024 and we’ll ask for your comments on it. Look out for information on our website and stay up to date by following us on Facebook.

Who do we contact if we have any questions or need help?

If you have any questions, or you need help completing the survey, or have any old items including photos, videos, interviews, or anything else, email [email protected] or contact the Library in your town –

Tom Price 9188 4444

Paraburdoo 9190 2222

Pannawonica 9134 9501

Onslow 9184 9311