Kia Ora

Kia Ora Wine Bar, 1965. (©West Australian Newspapers Limited)

The Kia-Ora wine bar stood on the corner of Claisebrook Road and Royal Street East Perth from the mid-1920s to the 1970s. When it operated, there was a range of different laws and policies in Western Australia to stop or limit the sale and consumption of alcohol to Aboriginal people.  

The earliest laws which made it an offence to supply alcohol to an Aboriginal person changed in the early 1900s to punish the drinker, not the supplier. In the 1940s, Aboriginal people with exemption certificates could get legal access to alcohol. However alcohol prohibition for most Aboriginal people continued until changes to the Licensing Act in 1971.  

During the 1950s and ‘60s, police charges against Aboriginal people were usually related to alcohol – either drunkenness or disorderly conduct or breaches of the Native Welfare Act relating to supply or receiving of liquor.  Despite the complex laws and police surveillance, the Kia Ora was a popular venue in the heart of East Perth's Noongar community.  


Brenda Woods

John Pell

Marie Pryor

Kia Ora Wine Bar, 1965. (©West Australian Newspapers Limited)

Advertisement for the Kia Ora Wine Saloon, The Sunday Times 26 April 1953.