SSJG Heritage Centre Broome

Local Businesses

Hours: Open: Monday- Friday 9am - 12noon , Saturday 10am - 12noon


A unique win­dow into the Kimberley’s pio­neer­ing past and the rela­tion­ships between its Abo­rig­i­nal, Asian and Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ties. View the sig­nif­i­cant Kim­ber­ley pho­to­graph­ic col­lec­tion dis­played in one Broome’s remain­ing few Japan­ese Shink­abe’ build­ings, the Sis­ters of St John of God Old Convent’. 

The Her­itage Cen­tre is a place for shar­ing of social his­to­ry relat­ed to the Sis­ters of St John of God and Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple of the Kim­ber­ley. It incor­po­rates the Rela­tion­ships Exhi­bi­tion in the Old Con­vent, the Archive & Research Cen­tre, the Gar­den of Heal­ing and Pome­gran­ate House.

The Old Con­vent, Broome, was built in 1926 and is a fine and rare exam­ple of North West ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture, par­tic­u­lar­ly empha­siz­ing the exter­nal fram­ing with its sim­ple and ele­gant ver­ti­cal line.

It has cul­tur­al her­itage sig­nif­i­cance for the fol­low­ing reasons:

• The Con­vent build­ing was con­struct­ed by Japan­ese car­pen­ter and ship­builder Hori Goro­kichi and is one of only three build­ings in Broome known to fea­ture the exposed fram­ing of the tra­di­tion­al Japan­ese car­pen­try method of Shinkabe;

• The Con­vent and site was the home of the Sis­ters of St John of God, who were the first female reli­gious order to serve in the Kim­ber­ley region, and has con­tin­ued to pro­vide a venue for their work to the present;

• The Con­vent was estab­lished at the height of the pearling indus­try in Broome, where the Sis­ters of St John of God worked with and were sup­port­ed by the diverse pop­u­la­tions of the town, in par­tic­u­lar the Japan­ese com­mu­ni­ty, at a time of strict racial segregation;

• The build­ing is a good rep­re­sen­ta­tive exam­ple of a con­vent designed in spe­cif­ic response to the trop­i­cal cli­mate and rep­re­sents the way of life for the Sis­ters who lived and worked here;

• The Con­vent is high­ly val­ued by the Sis­ters of St John of God and by the local and wider com­mu­ni­ty for its his­toric, social and reli­gious asso­ci­a­tions, and con­tributes to the Broome community’s sense of place.

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