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Roebourne

Roebourne is a former gold rush town in Western Australia's Pilbara region. It is 202 km from Port Hedland and 1,563 km from Perth, the state's capital. It prospered during its gold boom of the late 19th century and was once the largest settlement between Darwin and Perth. At the, Roebourne had a population of 857.HistoryRoebourne's name honours John Septimus Roe, the first Surveyor General of Western Australia.The Pilbara region was first explored by Francis Thomas Gregory in 1861. He and his exploration party arrived at the head of Nickol Bay, landing near what was to become Roebourne, and travelling about 60 km inland to present day Millstream Station. Gregory regarded the area as highly suitable for pastoral settlement. The first settlers, including Gregory's cousin Emma Withnell and her young family, arrived in the Roebourne area in 1863. The Withnells established themselves on the banks of the Harding River 13 km from the coast, where they had access to a reasonable fresh water supply, and took up 30,000 acres (120 km²) at the foot of Mount Welcome. In common with many settlers at the time, they hired local Aboriginal people to work on their properties as shepherds, labourers and shearers.By 1865, the population of the area had grown to about 200, and the Withnells' property served as a local hub, with John Withnell opening a store and providing cartage services to the other settlers. Prior to the construction of a church in the area, services were held in their home.
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