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Viewing Entry - The white divers of Broome (S15905)
by Bailey, John

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Playing time for daisy/audio formats : 11 hours 45 minutes


TitleThe white divers of Broome : the true story of a fatal experiment
Author / Responsible partyBailey, John
TopicsHistory. Pearl industry and trade -- Western Australia -- Broome. Pearl divers -- Western Australia -- Broome. Western Australia -- History -- 1901-1914.
Intended AudienceAdult
PublisherVisAbility Ltd.


In 1912 Broome was as much Asian as Australian. The town thrived on the hugely profitable, and extremely dangerous pearl-shell industry, using Asian labour that was cheap to hire and easy to replace. It was a frontier town, where racial tensions simmered uneasily between whites, Asians and Aborigines. In that year, twelve British Royal Navy-trained divers and their tenders were sent to Broome to take part in the White Experiment. Their task was to master the perilous art of pearl-shell diving and overcome the Asian stranglehold on the pearling industry, proving once and for all the supremacy of the white man over the coloured. Urging them on was a Commonwealth Government deep in the grip of the White Australia policy and anxious to rid the country of the last remaining Asian 'taint'. This is an extraordinary true story of this experiment and its fatal aftermath.

Additional Information

System control numberS15905
Original Print PublisherSydney : Pan Macmillan, 2001.
NarratorFrancis Greenslade.
Narrator NameFrancis Greenslade.
Participant or performer noteFrancis Greenslade.
Narrators GenderMale narrator