A document of life

This passport was in Sara Koen’s pocket when she dived overboard to save herself and her family during the Japanese air raid on Broome on 3rd March in 1942. They were passengers on the X1 Dornier flying boat and were fleeing from the Japanese invasion of Indonesia, where her father had been a mechanic at the Royal Dutch Air Force base in Netherland East Indies. Her family survived the raid by swimming to safety through water covered in burning oil. After the raid, in which 80 people died, her passport was fished out of Roebuck Bay and returned to her. It was soaking wet but undamaged and Sara continued to use the passport for years afterwards.

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Broome Museum

Broome stories

The Broome Historical Museum reveals the character and history of the unique, multicultural town of Broome, dubbed 'the pearling capital of the world.' Originally housed in the Old Broome Lockup the...


67 Robinson Street
Broome WA 6725

Open Hours

May to September Mon to Fri 10am-4pm, & Sat to Sun 10am-1pm; October to April 7 days 10am-1pm; Check the website for closing dates between late December and early February

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Shinju Queen

The highlight of Broome’s annual Shinju Matsuri Festival was the crowning of the Pearl Queen at the ball. Made by jeweller Robert Boyd, this delicate silver crown features eleven sets of Japanese...

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In this exquisitely carved ‘story shell’, Butcher Joe Nangan depicts Marala, an ancestral figure from Bugarrigarra, alert and watching the arrival of the first pearlers to Broome. It is a record that...

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