In Two Worlds

Article | Updated 3 years ago

The only reason our family lived in [Menzies] was so that we could attend school and Dad could work at the State Battery. We went out from Menzies almost every weekend. When Friday afternoons arrived, we were packed and ready to go bush again.

Anne Joyce Nudding (Ninny), 2002

Contact with the new settlements enmeshed Aboriginal people in two worlds and a dual economy. People continued to rely on hunting and gathering in the bush but increasingly took up occasional employment opportunities and accepted government rations.

In Kalgoorlie-Boulder, attitudes towards ‘fringe dwellers’ were generally hostile, and there was a call for a solution to the ‘Native Question’.

Police attempted to restrict movement within the town and in 1936 the town was declared a prohibited area; Aboriginal people not in lawful employment could be legally excluded.