Policing the Kimberley Frontier - Chris Owen - 7 July 2016

State Records Office Lunchtime Seminar – Thursday 7 July 2016, 12.30-1.30pm

Speaker: Dr Chris Owen

Topic: 'Every mother’s son is guilty…’ Policing the Kimberley frontier of Western Australia 1882-1905 - a Lunchtime Seminar for NAIDOC Week

Venue: South West Room, State Records Office, south west entrance of the State Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre: see Google map.

Numbers are limited and you must book to attend this Seminar, so please email sro@sro.wa.gov.au to reserve a place.

Chris Owen's soon to be released book is a study of police and policing in the Kimberley District of Western Australia with a particular emphasis on the policing of the Aboriginal population during the period 1882-1905. This seminar will focus on his research of State Archives in writing the book. Every mother's son is guilty ... will be published by UWA Publishing later this year.

WA's Kimberley region was one of the last Australian frontiers to be colonised. Policing in this district was profoundly  influenced by  its remoteness and oppressive environmental conditions, plus a comparatively large Aboriginal population. Extensive evidence from State Archives held by the SRO details how, in the early period, the Kimberley police sought to uphold the law and protect Aboriginal people. By the 1890s the police role had changed into something altogether different. Financial constraints, limited police numbers and significant political and social forces in both the Kimberley and Perth worked to shape police actions, which included the killing of large numbers of Aboriginal people. Dr Owen's book is the first fully fledged history of policing in the Kimberley region and offers a significant reassessment of extant histories of the period and place.

The image in the cover of the book has been used with the permission of the Balanggarra people.