This history page focuses on people from Šepurine and their descendants.  For a wider look at the history of Croatians in Western Australia, please go to the main HCWA website where you’ll find a lot of well-researched information.

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A Brief History of Šepurinjani in Western Australia


Earliest Arrivals

It’s likely that the first person to arrive in WA from Šepurine was Josip FRANIĆ-KEŠIĆ (1871-1947). He first went to South Africa, stayed there for five months before journeying to Melbourne where he disembarked some time in 1901 and made his way the WA goldfields by 1902/3.

In 1903, Josip’s younger brother, Ivan FRANIĆ-KEŠIĆ (1880-1950) arrived in Fremantle and immediately travelled to the goldfields where he spent the rest of his life.

The first woman from Šepurine in WA was most likely Jakomina VLADIĆ nee SKROZA (1865-1929). Jakomina was married to Ante VLADIĆ from Prvić Luka.  Ante came to Australia on the 28 November 1899 disembarking at Townsville, Queensland, most likely to work as a sugar cane cutter. He was in WA by the time his brother, Ivan (Jack) VLADIĆ, arrived in Fremantle in 1905. the ywere joined by another brother, Krste VLADIĆ in 1908.  Ante was Jakomina’s second husband. Her first husband was Mate Mijat with whom she had a son, Šime Mate Mijat born in October 1885. Šime Mate was married by the time his mother left Prvić. He never came to Australia.

Archives indicate a P. MIJAT travelling on the S.S. Orizaba to Auckland N.Z. arriving in December 1896; but there’s no further information about him or where he came from. The Orizaba was wrecked off the coast of Rockingham WA when it struck a reef in November 1905.