Mowanjum is an Aboriginal community that has been set up as a "dry" community and is dedicated to teaching each young children its traditional customs and culture including its artwork.
The artwork in this region focuses on Wandjina-a supreme spirit being although other traditional designs, symbols and patterns do feature.
Its art and culture centre is a beautiful building that will eventually be a performing centre and not just a gallery for artwork. The building is very close to the entrance to the community.
Do not venture beyond to far into the community.
The Centenary Pavilion is located at the jetty. It features a colourful 28sqr metre mosaic depicting facets of life in the district using various indigenous designs. It also has a series of historical placards explaining Derby’s history.
The Old Prison is an infamous site in terms of Western Australia’s history. It is linked to the 1905 Act which was used by Administrators (including Police) to separate Aboriginals from their families and control them. This prison is particularly brutal in that it is really a cage. The “prisoners” usually had cuffs around their necks and were then chained to locks on the floor. (see photo)
The Old Derby Gaol is located right next to the current Police Station down the main street in Loch Street. The entrance is a bit nondescript - a wire fence surrounds the site. There is no signage.
The visitor centre is a must in terms of identifying the major tourist sites in Derby. The staff can also organise any tours you may want to take from Derby including flights to Horizontal Falls etc. The Visitor Centre is at the end of Clarendon Street. It also has a small selection of souvenirs.
The prison boab is quite an infamous site in Western Australia’s history. It was used to house Aboriginals on their way to Derby prison. It also has some spiritual significance for Aboriginals. The boab tree itself is estimated to be about 1200 years old.
The prison boab is about 7 km out of Derby on the Broome Derby road. There is a signpost from the main road. There are placards explaining the significance of the site and the origins of the Boab tree.
Jila Gallery is a small gallery of indigenous art.The gallery owner has a close affiliation with artists from the Looma comunity. It is a small gallery but the artworks are authentic and reasonably priced.
7 km outside of Derby the Boab Prison Tree gives a combination of the dark side of the local history and an interesting view of a curious natural object
In South Africa they are called Baobabs.
anywhere in the top of Australia but especially around Derby, look out for the giant termite mounds. The first few will amaze you, after a few hundred you'll just think 'another termite mound'