Department of Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

Abandoned Communities

These were once thriving towns whose names were influenced by Aboriginal culture. There is excellent historical information available at:

These towns are Kanowna (gazetted in December 1894), Kookynie, Broad Arrow (Kurawah), Boorara, Beria, Gindalbie, Balagundi (named after a nearby Aboriginal water-hole), Balgarri, Eulaminna, Euro, Goongarrie, Gudarra, and many others including:


A goldfields townsite near Broad Arrow north of Kalgoorlie, Bardoc is an Aboriginal name derived from a nearby hill. The hill name was recorded in 1895 and the townsite gazetted in 1896. Although the meaning of the name is not known, the word bar-dook or barduk means "near" or "close" in some Aboriginal dialects.


A goldfields townsite near Laverton. Gold was discovered here by prospectors Billy Frost and J. Tregurtha in 1897. Business and residential areas were laid out under the Goldfield Act by surveyor J. H. Rowe in 1901. Rowe recorded the Aboriginal name for the district as "Merolia" and the settlement was shown as such on early maps. However, the original residents determined upon calling the place Burtville in compliment to the Warden of the Mount Margaret Goldfield, then Mr. Alfred Earle Burt (1852-1945), a son of Sir Archibald Burt, first Chief Justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court. This name was in local use as early as October 1901. The townsite was gazetted as "Merolia" in 1902, but regazetted as Burtville at the request of the Progress Association later in the same year.


A goldfields town about 34 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie, Bulong was gazetted in 1895. After the discovery of gold in this vicinity the area became known as "I.O.U" which was the name of a mine or a gold-mining lease. In October 1894 surveyor G.C.Hamilton was instructed to lay out a townsite at "I.O.U" and to "suggest a better name for it". Hamilton suggested "Boolong", the aboriginal name of a small soak situated nearby. This name was adopted but was spelt "Bulong" to conform with the Standard system of spelling Aboriginal names.


Lakewood is an abandoned goldfields townsite, located 10 km south east of Kalgoorlie. The Kalgoorlie Road Board suggested the name "Gnumballa" for the new townsite but when it was gazetted in 1904 it was spelt "Ngumballa" in line with spelling rules adopted by the Department of Lands and Surveys. The name is the Aboriginal name for Hannan Lake. In spite of the gazettal of the name Ngumballa, the railway station remained as Lakeside.


Mertondale is now a pastoral station 30 km north east of Leonora. In 1899, Mertondale was gazetted as a townsite after gold was discovered in 1899. It didn’t last though and the place was almost deserted by 1910. The area holds many sites of significance for the various Aboriginal groups in the area. One area in particular is the “Chain of Water-holes”, a range of water-holes frequently visited by Aboriginal people.

Residential house, Kookynie Railway House, Goongarie


Abandoned Communities

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