Littlewell Aboriginal Reserve
On the outskirts of Mingenew, a small town 100km south east of Geraldton in WA, lies a significant Aboriginal Reserve called Littlewell. It has a rich history of connection, belonging and hardship for many local Aboriginal families.
Littlewell Reserve was established in 1898 and ran until the early 1970s when it was closed down after its residents moved to town-based accommodation in Mingenew.
Littlewell has a rich history of connection, belonging and hardship for many local Aboriginal families. Former residents of the Reserve have a real passion for sharing their story, so they created a working group with the goal of establishing a heritage precinct to commemorate the lives of the families who lived there.
The working group asked ICV for help with writing submissions to secure funding to build a heritage trail. They hope the trail will be used by visitors and tourists, and be an important educational tool in telling the history of Aboriginal reserves in the Midwest.
ICV volunteer Peter has been working closely with Thomas, a member of the working group, and the Mingenew Shire to develop the application.
Another important part of this project is the former residents’ desire to record the stories of Elders and other people who used to live at Littlewell.
The community now wants to create an audio tour so that visitors will be able to download and listen to it while walking around the site.
Thomas says, “During my time in Littlewell in the 50s we were told stories by my grandfather about our culture including bush tucker, yumbies and singing around the camp fire.”
Thomas has identified seven other former residents to interview. ICV volunteer Peter used to be a lecturer in media studies, so he is helping make the audio tour a reality. Interviews are now underway and we look forward to hearing the stories about life in Littlewell Reserve.