The Shire History

Covering an area of 3,368 square kilometres, the  Shire of Wongan-Ballidu falls within the traditional lands of the Ballardong Noongar and Yued Noongar people.   The area’s granite outcrops, fauna, flora and water systems are deeply woven within indigenous culture and continue to be a source of deep spiritual connection for the Traditional Custodians.  As you enjoy the remarkable beauty of our surroundings, please remember and respect the cultural significance of the area.
The district was discovered by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe seven years after the Swan River colony was founded.  On an exploration voyage returning from Mt Marshall, Roe’s party sighted the Wongan Hills.  Running low on supplies, the hills offered good water and grass for the horses and Roe set up camp.  It was during this visit that Roe  named the area’s highest point Mount Matilda in honour of his wife.
Wongan Hills, the most densely populated town within the Shire serves as a social and commercial hub.  According to historical records, the first Wongan Hills settlers arrived in 1905 and the first commercial wheat crop was grown the following year.  The first store was opened in the town in 1909 and the railway arrived in 1911, the same year the town site was officially proclaimed. 
Ballidu, directly North of Wongan Hills and 219km north east of Perth  is the second largest town within the Shire.  Ballidu’s name is derived from Horsethe Indigenous name  given to a nearby spring.  Local residents preferred the Indigenous name “Balli” however the Lands Department wanted to call the town “Duli”.  A compromise was reached and Ballidu was named in 1914. 
The third town site of Cadoux is located 200 kilometers  north east of Perth (via Dowerin). It was suggested by the local Road Board Secretary to name the locale “Cado” after a  local farmer.    The correct spelling of “Cadoux” was later confirmed and honours Donald Cadoux, a French-Canadian settler who arrived in WA in 1909 and later died in Gallipoli during WW1.  Cadoux was founded in 1929 and is the site of the second most damaging earthquake in the history of Western Australia.  The damage was estimated at  $3.8 million at the time of the 1979 disaster.

  Aerial Shot of Wongan  Wongan Hall

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