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Port Hedland Pioneer Cemetery


Town of Port Hedland

Place Number

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Bounded by Sutherland, Stevens and Brearley Sts Port Hedland

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Pioneers and Pearlers Cemetery

Local Government

Port Hedland



Construction Date

Constructed from 1912

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 23 Aug 2017

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 28 Sep 2012

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 09 Mar 2018 Grading B

Grading B

Very important to the heritage of the locality. a high degree of integrity/authenticity. Desired Outcome: Conservation of the place is highly desirable. Any alterations or extensions should reinforce the significance of the place.

Statement of Significance

Pioneers and Pearlers Cemetery is of considerable significance in providing a historical record of the development of Port Hedland between 1912 and 1974, including Aboriginal people and pastoral identities, the Asian associations with the pearling industry, and generally reflects the pioneering spirit of Port Hedland. The setting, identity and design of the headstones and palisades and grave markers are of significance and aesthetically contributes to the character of Port Hedland.

Physical Description

The cemetery is divided into 4 sections: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Native and
Asiatic. The Japanese section is particularly distinctive. Palisades and
headstones of various designs throughout. There is an Aboriginal shell midden
within the cemetery.

Arched central entry on Sutherland Street. The cemetery site slopes up from
Sutherland Street to a commanding position overlooking the ocean.


The first burial took place on 2 January 1912. Since that time, until it closed in 1968, although the last burial was in 1974, there were 522 burials recorded. Of those burials, 387 were in the General Register, and 135 ‘Native’ burials. Only about 90 of the graves are marked with headstones or by other means.


Integrity: High Degree
Authenticity: High Degree

Changes to place Ashes placed at Cemetery since 1974.




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Town of Port Hedland MI 1996

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
10046 Old Port Hedland cemetary enhancement project community consultation. Electronic 2011
10047 Cultural heritage assessment: Town of Port Hedland Old Port Hedland Cemetery, Western Australia. Electronic 2012
6894 Interpretation plan for Old Port Hedland Cemetery/Pioneer and Pearlers Cemetery. Heritage Study {Other} 2003
10050 Old Port Hedland Cemetery, Phase 2 investigations 2012 3D Survey and surface recording findings. Electronic 2012

Place Type

Historic Site


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Cemetery

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Workers {incl. Aboriginal, convict}

Creation Date

16 Jun 2004

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

16 Feb 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.