The Society acknowledges the traditional owners of the Irwin Districts, their continuing connection to land, sea and community and pays its respects to elders and their cultures, past and present.

The Packout Room Museum of Fishing and the Sea

Bob Hope on the Sea Breeze, 1960, Bob Hope Collection

The Packout Room opened to the public on 11 December 2021. The museum is being developed by the Irwin Districts Historical Society with its partners Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) and Dongara Professional Fishermen’s Association (DPFA). The Packout Room is the first stage of a larger project being developed over time to encompass the history and heritage of the Port Denison fisheries and their maritime environs on the Batavia Coast. This compact museum is situated in the former Packout Room, or Packing Room of the Geraldton Fishermen’s Coop building, known as “The Lives”, on the Port Denison foreshore.

The museum features exhibitions of the fishing and maritime history and heritage of Port Denison and its coastal environs. Six themes or stories are represented in the displays: Seaside Resort, Fishing Equipment, From Pastime to Professional, Coast and Islands, and Science of the Fishery. A digital content area features a series of short films and videos on a continuous loop with a mix of historic and contemporary footage, and on the southern wall, 16 brass plaques commemorate Shipwrecks of the Irwin Coast.

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