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Village Settlement: Waikerie

The name Waikerie is possibly derived from an Aboriginal word for 'anything that flies' or 'a favourite place for many birds' after the abundant birdlife of the area. Another suggestion is that it derives from an Aboriginal name for the brown gum moth or for their seasonal mating flight. Settlers arrived at Waikerie at the beginning of March in 1894. Discord between the settlers began almost immediately. The single men felt that they were treated unfairly, working longer hours than those married with children and not rewarded for it.They also felt that their grievances were not heard because the board was made up of married men who were biased. In June 1894, 12 members were expelled from the settlement without a public hearing. In response to this unfair treatment, 18 men (mostly single, but some married) decided to breakaway from Waikerie and applied to establish a separate settlement at Ramco. Subsequently, Waikerie floundered. Many of the settlers were dissatisfied with working communally, their irrigation methods were ineffectual and climatic conditions were harsh. Village settlement expert, Samuel McIntosh moved to Waikerie in 1900 and his advice to the settlers helped, but the decline had already begun. Waikerie ceased to be a village settlement in July 1903 and was incorporated as the Waikerie Irrigation Area in 1909. Land was then leased to individuals.

Village settlements : Waikeri
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Waikeri
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Waikeri
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Waikerie Village Settlement
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