The Smelter's Camp

Join Dr Kate with the 2021 Battye Fellow, Julie Raffaele, discussing her research into the 'Smelters' Camp' (aka Robb Jetty Camp) - a transient person's campsite that existed for over half a century among the dunes of Cockburn Sound and was originally an Aboriginal gathering place.

Discover some of the stories of the people who lived at the Smelters' Camp between 1898 and 1960. Julie's research uncovered the fascinating personal histories of over 260 individuals. Residents camped by choice or through homelessness until the camp's demolition in the 1960s.

The camp was a symbolic microcosm of changes in society and along our coastline and existed because of the effects of economic turbulence, homelessness, migration, veteran recovery and mental illness, quarantine and isolation – all topics with continuing relevance to Western Australia today.

Read Julie’s research. 

Recorded live on ABC Radio Perth on 1 April 2022.

This page last updated on
5 April 2022