Lustre: Pearling & Australia

Touring Exhibition

Sat 21 Sep 2019Sun 2 Feb 2020


Museum of the Great Southern

The use of the pearlshell in Australia dates back over 20,000 years. It is a story full of wonder, beauty and the ill-effects of greed.

Lustre: Pearling & Australia explores the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together intersecting trends of Aboriginal, Asian, and European histories to reveal insights into one of our oldest industries.

Discover the stories behind Northern Australia's unique and ancient pearling tradition. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the shell itself, its evolution and habitat, and the people who have collected and harvested these treasures for time immemorial.

This exhibition was curated in 2015 as a dynamic partnership between the WA Museum and Nyamba Buru Yawuru–the native title holders of Broome. After an acclaimed tour of the eastern states, Lustre returns to Western Australia for its premiere regional tour.

Now open at Museum of the Great Southern

Learning Resources

The Lustre: Pearling & Australia  is available for school bookings during school term time. A comprehensive Education Resource has been created for the exhibition

Education Groups & Lustre Learning Resources

Lustre: Pearling & Australia is a touring exhibition.
Museum of the Goldfields: Saturday 25 May - Sunday 1 September
Museum of the Great Southern: Saturday 21 September - Sunday 2 February 2020
Museum of Geraldton: Friday 21 February 2020 - Sunday 21 June 2020

Caption: The crew of a pearl lugger, Broome, c. 1900-20

Courtesy: National Archives of Australia