by Lorna Kaino

‘Broome culture’ and its historical links to the Japanese in the pearling industry

Continuum, Journal of Media & Cultural Studies Volume 25, 2011 – Issue 4

pp. 479-490

The Broome Shire Council’s decision in 2009 to suspend the sister-town relationship because of controversy over Taiji’s practice of culling dolphins galvanized Broome’s Asian and Asian-Aboriginal community (hereafter referred to as poly-ethnic community) to oppose this move. This, and other examples explored in this paper, attests to the strong connection between these two groups that has shaped a distinctive ‘Broome culture’. This paper explores ways in which Japanese working in the pearling industry contributed to the emergence of a Broome culture through their historic ties with Aborigines. Some of these ties are through family lineage; others are through vast interlocking familial and friendship networks in Broome’s Asian-Aboriginal community. Recent interviews attest to the enduring nature of these networks.

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