Social justice highlighted at heritage centre tour

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Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
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St John of God Heritage Centre volunteers and staff members Margaret Deegan, Helen Mary Martin, Junie Cattermole and Sarah Keenan outside the foundation hut as part of the Free Women on a Savage Frontier tour.
Camera IconSt John of God Heritage Centre volunteers and staff members Margaret Deegan, Helen Mary Martin, Junie Cattermole and Sarah Keenan outside the foundation hut as part of the Free Women on a Savage Frontier tour. Credit: Broome Advertiser, Carly Laden

One of Broome’s hidden gems has reached out to local businesses and tourism operators to showcase what it has in store for 2019.

St John of God Heritage Centre revived its successful Shinju Matsuri 2018 tour, Free Women on a Savage Frontier, in an exclusive tour last Thursday.

Heritage Centre staff member and tour guide Helen Mary Martin said the volunteers and staff members decided to bring the guided tour back for future visitors to the town.

“The theme of this one is based on an essay by Pat Jacobs, which was converted into a book and now we use it on the tour,” she said.

“It was initially developed for Shinju Matsuri last year to bring the public to us and show people the social history of Broome. “The exhibition is all about the leadership and daring of women, social justice and compassion of the Sisters. The Sisters were always determined to make a difference but they never did anything overtly, it was always quietly done. We want to see people bring past history into the modern, contemporary problems and not to forget our past, otherwise we are destined to repeat the same mistakes in our society.”

Fellow staff member Sarah Keenan said while tours would take place on special occasions for large groups of tourists, the exhibition would largely be a self-guided tour.

“We want to show a lot of people what’s right here on their doorstep and of course, another aspect of Broome’s colourful history,” she said.

“A lot of our volunteers have deep connections with the Sisters of the Kimberley, so they’re always more than welcome to share their stories with other people.”

Ms Martin said she hoped people would be intrigued to learn about another aspect of Broome’s history and develop an even richer knowledge through the exhibition.

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