Moola Bulla, located just to the north of Halls Creek, has a central place in the hearts and minds of Aboriginal people in the central and east Kimberley. It was originally established in 1910 by the Aborigines Department. It was hoped the establishment of Moola Bulla might alleviate some of the conflict with pastoralists and reduce the incidence of cattle spearing. The idea was to congregate Aboriginal people in a place that was part institution and part cattle station.
There are many stories of Moola Bulla. For Traditional owners it is a place of long held sacred connection. For those who had been living out in the bush and at risk of being shot it became a place of refuge. It is still a place of sad memories and family separation for those members of the Stolen Generation who were forced to go there against their will. Many are still grappling with the legacy.
When Moola Bulla was closed in 1955, people who had grown up there and regarded it as home were forcibly relocated, once again suffering loss and disconnection. Since that time the station has been run as a privately owned pastoral lease.
This place still conjures mixed emotions. Some people built valued life-time long relationships forged in the shared experience of common hardship and endurance. Prominent Kija woman Josey Farrer was one of those who grew up at Moola Bulla Station. She went on to become the first female Aboriginal Shire President in Western Australia.
The Moola Bulla lookout, a few kilometres just to the north of Halls Creek, provides a commanding sunset view over the town. Ask a local for directions.