The new Wadjemup Museum, opened by the Minister for Tourism on 22 December, has undergone a $1million refurbishment through the Commonwealth’s National Tourism Icons program. Housed in the Old Mill and Hay Store in the Settlement, the museum invites visitors to explore the unique and diverse history of the Island through themes exploring cultural connections, early exploration, Aboriginal incarceration, volunteering, tourism and holidays and includes a display on the Rottnest Foundation and the other Rottnest voluntary organisations.
The Museum surrounds have also been landscaped and will host a year-long exhibition ‘Sculpture at Wadjemup’, featuring Western Australian artists and reflecting the Island’s significant cultural heritage, natural landscapes and complex histories.
With a grant from The Copland Foundation, the Rottnest Foundation has commissioned a bronze bust of a ‘Noongar Elder’, that will be on permanent display in the Museum grounds and unveiled soon.
Pat Barblett AM, pictured left, was a key driver for the establishment of a museum on Rottnest Island back in the 1970s. She strived to create a better understanding of the Island’s natural, cultural and heritage values. Pat was also the first woman appointed to the Rottnest Island Board, was a member for 16 years and Chair for 3 years and went on to establish the Rottnest Foundation in 1985.