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Leeman is a small coastal fishing town 295 kilometres north northwest of Perth. The government decided in 1961 to subdivide land here, and the Nomenclature Advisory Committee selected the name of Leeman for the proposed townsite. It was gazetted as Leeman in June 1961. The place had previously been known as "Snag Island" after the feature of that name situated a short distance offshore.
The townsite was named after Abraham Leeman, under steersman of the Dutch ship "Waeckende Boeij" (Watchful Buoy), Captain Volkersen, which sailed the W.A. coast in 1658 in search of wreckage from the "Gilt Dragon" lost two years earlier. Leeman was in charge of a party that put ashore to search and was abandoned by the main vessel when bad weather blew up. After an epic open boat voyage lasting nearly six months, he and three of his companions reached Batavia in their small craft on 23 September 1658.