SSJG Heritage Centre Broome
Hours: Open: Monday- Friday 9am - 1pm, Saturday 10am - 1pm, From: Mid February - Mid November
BROOME’S AWARD WINNING HERITAGE CENTRE
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.
SSJG Heritage Centre Broome will be closed from 3rd November 2023 until they re-open for the 2024 season in early February.