Beverley District High School Whole School Project

Instigated by Beverley Station Arts and funded by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Government of Western Australia and Lotteries West. Students worked with myself for a semester to create a body of work in response to the town’s unsung histories.

Selected stories were brought to life as children navigated a historical walk around the town. Research acquired from the Beverley Historical Society, was delivered to students by enthusiastic locals and Actor Bruce Denny. Denny who dressed as an indigenous tracker shared the grisly tale of the Hackett Murders from the perspective of the Indigenous trackers, who helped apprehend the ticket of leave men responsible for the slaying. Other shared stories were of Frances White who independently ran the Waverley Dairy after the premature death of her husband, Selby Ford who built the famous Silver Centenary Plane, Jessie Christina Clifton, the only women on the Beverley War Memorial, the building of The Dome Petrol Station, the burning down of the Beverley Flour Mill, Italian POWs who worked the land whilst local men went to war, early Chinese market gardeners who contributed to the local economy, in spite of racial vilification from attitudes deriving from the White Australia Policy and flamboyant Sikh hawker, Veer Singh. 

Perry Ugle shared with students, his experiences growing up as an Indigenous person in Beverley, prior to the referendum, as well as the tracker Billy Noongale’s assistance to the John and Alexander Forrest’s expedition from Perth to Adelaide. 

A whole school exhibition was then held at the Beverley Community Resource Centre.

Exhibition Photos by Holly Smith