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Great Western Woodland - Culture and Heritage

The story of the Great Western Woodlands and its surrounding towns tells the history, on a small scale, of Western Australia itself. This is a history of human survival, and often prosperity, in a landscape that challenges even the most resourceful of people.

It is a story of extremes where ingenuity and sheer determination gave rise to legendary human achievements — where the personalities are almost as large as the projects they made possible.

From Indigenous ways of life that survived tens of thousands of years, to the colossal scale of the Kalgoorlie gold rushes, to engineering feats that pipe water 600km inland from the coast and built a 3200km fence designed to repel invading rabbits, this region has been the stuff of both modern day and ancient mythology.

Despite this, however, the Woodlands natural elements ultimately control human activity in the region, and its weathered soils and aridity have conspired with economic fluctuations to resist broad-scale development.

Today, the Great Western Woodlands awaits an uncertain future, threatened by fire, feral animals, weeds and habitat fragmentation due to poorly planned infrastructure development.

We explore the culture and heritage values of the Great Western Woodlands in the following pages: