The Shire of Harvey is in the South West of Western Australia and includes some of the best agricultural land in the state.
Harvey takes its name from the Harvey River, and was originally known as Korejikup.
The origin of its name is somewhat obscure. Respected historian AC Staples wrote in his book, They made their destiny, history of settlement, Shire of Harvey, 1829 – 1929, p. 23:
It is quite reasonable to suggest that [Governor James] Stirling selected the name and that the person so honoured was one whom Stirling remembered with great respect. Such a person was the commanding officer of West Indian Station of the Royal Navy under whom Stirling served while in charge of the HMS Brazen in 1817. That commanding officer became Admiral Sir John Harvey.
The original Local Government centre was Brunswick Junction and is now Harvey. The Shire encompasses the towns of Harvey, Wokalup, Benger, Yarloop, Myalup, Brunswick, Binningup, Roelands (Collie River Siding), Cookernup and Australind.
The Harvey district has a rich history of settlement and land usage. Wide-ranging themes include:
- Early settlement
- Timber industry
- Dairy farming and milk processing
- Citrus growing
- Irrigation from weirs
- Soldier settlement
- World War II Internment Camp
- Roelands Mission
Many old timber mill towns no longer exist. As the wood was cut from the area, settlements disappeared. Place names from the past include Mornington, Worsley, Hoffman (2 sites) and Treesdale.
Others to disappear were railway sidings such as Beela, Collie Siding (Roelands) and Warrawarrup.
Small settlements established by the Forestry Department for fire control purposes were Tallanalla and Asquith but as fire detection techniques and means of communication improved, these settlements were abandoned.
The boundaries for Harvey Shire have changed over time; Australind was ceded to Bunbury in 1921 and returned in 1950 and the Shire of Collie was enlarged in 1970 with ceded land from Harvey Shire.
Harvey District Oral History Group started in 1989 with a small band of volunteers. The aim was to gather history, mainly in the audio tape medium, making it available to the public through local libraries. The aim has remained the same but we now seek to attract a wider audience via the internet.
Harvey History Online in conjunction with Harvey Visitor Centre published two books which can be purchased from the Harvey Visitor Centre, Australind Timeless Wares (Henton Cottage) and the Bunbury Museum. They are:
- Heritage within the Harvey Shire (now out of print)
- Reflections within the Harvey Shire
- Oral Histories of more than 120 interviews.
- Documents are gathered from many sources and copied.
- Photographs with over 2,000 in the collection.
- Maps of the area from early settlement.
- Facebook presence – Memories of Harvey Shire.
Availability to the Public
- Oral Histories – An index of the collection is available on this website.
Copyright permitting, the interviews can be purchased from Harvey History Online, or alternately, Battye Library has copies.
- Documents and photos can be scanned and emailed, copyright permitting.
Edited oral histories are aired in segments on Harvey Community Radio in ‘Sounds Like Harvey’. Our thanks to Melva Mitchell for her ongoing work of editing and broadcasting the group’s interviews.
- Oral History interviews: $50 per interview
- Photos and headstone photos: $5 each.
How to Purchase
- Order by contacting via email. Orders will be filled when payment is made.
- Payment can be made by direct debit.
How to Contact