The Noongar Aboriginal people were the traditional custodians of the land in and around Kojonup. The name Kojonup is a derivative from the stone axes or ‘Kodja’ used by the Noongar to hunt game and the local freshwater stream provided drinking water.
Places whose name ends in ‘up’ signify the presence of fresh drinking water.
Kodja Place in the centre of Kojonup offers an insight into the history and traditions of the Noongar people. (See below)
Following the arrival of the European settlers in 1837 Kojonup became an English military outpost. Agriculture flourished alongside the barracks and Kojonup evolved into the farming community it is today. The Barracks, which are still in near perfect condition, is one of the oldest buildings in Western Australia and are home to The Pioneer Museum.
Kojonup’s economy was initially based on the cutting, transporting and selling of sandalwood and kangaroo hunting. Although the wool trade grew and flourished and to mark the impact of the trade on the local economy The Wool Wagon was unveiled to commemorate Australia Day in 2001. We have the honour of being the first shire in WA to have one million sheep.
The Kojonup Historical Society is the custodian of our local history, capturing something of the lives of the people of the area through photographs and writings. The archives can be viewed by visitors to Kojonup in The Old Post Office building.
For more information the Kojonup Historical Society can be contacted via: