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Selections Fusion Places, Fusion Families:
A Common History of the Austral-asian Ports
of Broome and Darwin
Darwin was surveyed as a townsite in 1869 and named Palmerston after the then-Prime Minister of Great Britain. It was intended to be the capital of the northern territory of the British colony of South Australia, and promote trade between Australia and the Orient.

Broome was surveyed as a townsite in 1883 and named after the then-Governor of the British colony of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Napier Broome. It was intended to formalise an existing camping place used by pearling boats, and provide a base for colonial control of the Kimberley District.

Both of these townsites were already the domain of local Aboriginal peoples - Darwin was laid out over Larrakia country, and Broome occupied Djugun lands. The Larrakia and Djugun had a long history of contact with foreigners, mainly fishers and traders from the islands of eastern Indonesia, but the surveys of 1869 and 1883 marked the first invasion and occupation of these Aboriginal lands from over the seas.

Thus was the scene set for the development of a new people and of a new family that fused old worlds and new. The Brookers, the Vincents, the Brillantes, the Kanegais, the Carters, the Nasirs, the Mokaks. A diversity of surnames united by a shared female lineage that reaches far back in time beyond the surveys of 1869 and 1883 to the journeys of the three Dreamtime sisters Lija, Udang and Birmarra who created the coastal landscapes of Rubibi (Broome).

To view the Nasir and Mokak genealogy, of family tree, click here.


  1. Bain, Sr. M.A., Full Fathom Five [a history of Broome and pearling], Artlook Books, Perth 1982.
  2. Lockwood, D., The Front Door: Darwin 1869-1969, Rigby Ltd., Adelaide 1968.
  3. Lurujarri Heritage Trail: retracing the song cycle from Minarriny to Yinara, WA Heritage Committee, 1988.