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Boorloo is the original name for the Perth region [1] The traditional owners of the area are the Whadjuk [2] people, a language group of Nyungar[3] nation.

Kadajiny Mia - Places of knowledge (place names)Edit

Byerbrup (the high location above the water)Edit

Byerbrup is the name for both the Perth ridge between Gargatup and Matagarup, and the main camp of the Wadjuk Noongar. This area was particularly important to Wadjuk Noongar because it is the location of their karla (home fire), and therefore the place their family called home.

During the Noongar season of Djeran (in Autumn) Aboriginal people would gather at Byerbrup to feast. At other times they would come to the area to trade. Byerbrup is also the home of Wadjuk Noongar leader Yellagonga and his family. [4]

Yellagonga (d. 1843) was a leader of the Whadjuk Noongar on the north side of the Swan River. Colonists saw Yellagonga as the owner of this area. However, land rights were also traced through women of the group. Yellagonga could hunt on wetlands north of Perth because of his wife Yangani's connections to that country.

In 1843 the settler press reported that "the mild, amiable Yella-gonga acknowledged by the natives as the possessor of vast tracts of land between Perth and Fremantle, is no more. He fell from a rock on the river's bank, and was drowned".

Byerbrup (Barrack sq) wa gnangarra

Jeena middar boodjar (gathering feet dancing on this land) Old Technical School, St Georges TerraceEdit

Old Perth Technical School, January 2021 02

Jeena middar (more commonly known as corroborees) are songs and dances that record the katitjin, moort and boodjar of Aboriginal people, held when families gathered together. In March 1833, a jeena middar was held to welcome the visitors from Minang Noongar (Albany) who visited Boorloo, which occured at this site, where the Old Technical School, St Georges Terrace now stands.

Wadjuk Noongar prepared for the jeena middar by painting themselves with ritual patterns. A newspaper report of the gathering described a kangaroo hunting song and suggested the charismatic Wadjuk Noongar boordiya (leader) Yagan was the “master of ceremonies”. As well as greeting visitors to boodjar, jeena middar are also used to record and communicate how the land should be cared for, who has the right to use it, and who are welcome to visit and stay in the area.[5]

Yandellup (the place of the reeds are on and by this place)Edit

Site of Yandellup

Yandell (or reeds) were cultivated and harvested throughout this area. The Yandell (or otherwise known as yanjid) roots have an edible root, during certain seasonal turns. Noongar cosmological knowledge tells us that if you pulled it out certain times, it would cause storms.

As Aboriginal people across Australia, used such sustainable practises, as fire-stick farming,the Wadjuk Noongar were no different. Burnings, which often occurred in summer, meant that travel and hunting was not slowed by the build-up of undergrowth.

Derbal Yerrigan - The Perth WatersEdit

Perth water with swans

The rivers of Perth are woven into the Dreaming stories of the local Aboriginal people, the Nyoongar. For them the Swan River is known as Derbarl Yerrigan. “Derbarl Yerrigan describes the Swan River and some elders have told me that it’s the place of the fresh water turtle, because the fresh water turtle was very important to us for medicine,” explains Barry McGuire, a Nyoongar leader [1].

“However, the words Derbarl Yerrigan do not literally translate as Swan River. The literal translation for Derbarl Yerrigan is Narlak (Swan) Beeliar (River).” Derbarl Yerrigan is understood to refer to fresh water or brackish water turtle Dreaming along the river. [6]

Koomba Pinjar - (The great lakes) Cultural precinct wetlands (in front of the Art Gallery)Edit

Art Gallery of WA evening

The Perth train station and the cultural precinct are situated on an ancient wetland, one of a series of pinjar (lakes). This series of wetlands used to empty and fill with the changing rainfall. You can see a wetland today outside the Art Gallery. Frogs and lizards are returning to a place where they once thrived. According the Whadjuk Noongar, these pinjar were essential for gathering food, essentially a supermarket of the Noongar people. Popular animals are gilgie (fresh water crayfish), yaagan (turtles) and koolya (frogs).

Birdiyah Whadjuk Nyungar - Leaders of the areaEdit

Ngullar Yorga birdiyah - our women leadersEdit

Wp/nys/Fanny Balbuk

Ngullar Maaman birdiyah - our male leadersEdit


Yagan (/ˈjeɪɡən/; c. 1795 – 11 July 1833) was one of the leaders around the establishment of the colony in Perth, representing the Whadjuk Noongar people.


Midgegooroo (died 22 May 1833) was an Aboriginal Australian elder of the Nyungar nation, who played a key role in Aboriginal resistance to white settlement in the area of Perth, Western Australia. Everything documented about Midgegooroo (variously spelled in the record as "Midgeegaroo", "Midgegarew", "Midgegoorong", Midgegoroo", Midjegoorong", "Midjigoroo", "Midgigeroo", Midjigeroo", "Migegaroo", "Migegaroom", "Migegooroo", "Midgecarro", "Widgegooroo") .


Yellagonga was a leader of the Whadjuk Noongar on the north side of the Swan River. Colonists saw Yellagonga as the owner of this area. However, land rights were also traced through women of the group. Yellagonga could hunt on wetlands north of Perth because of his wife Yangani's connections to that country.

Post colonial PerthEdit

The Prohibited Area—1927-1954 (corner of Barrack Street and Murray Street)Edit

In the 1920s, the Chief Protector of Aborigines, A. O. Neville, using the 1905 Aborigines Act, declared the city of Perth a Prohibited Area and made it an offence for Aboriginal people to enter unless they were in “lawful employment”. Its boundaries stretched 1.3 kilometres from the Swan River to Newcastle Street in Northbridge, and 2 kilometres from Bennett Street in East Perth to Milligan Street in West Perth.

From 1927 until 1954, permits were required by Aboriginal people, to enter the city and would result in an arrest if police found them in the city after the 6pm curfew. The Prohibited Area created major issues for Aboriginal people looking for work or travelling to and from home.[7]

The Aboriginal Protector’s Office (57 Murray Street)Edit

This site, now Curtin Business School Perth Campus, is where the Aborigines Protection Act of 1905 was implemented by the Protector of Aborigines. This gave them control over nearly every aspect of Aboriginal peoples’ lives including where they could live, who they could work for, what they were paid, and who they could marry.

During this time, Aboriginal children were frequently removed from their parents, which had tragic consequences for many families,more commonly known as the stolen generation. The most well known Protector of Aboriginies, A.O.Neville, reigned from 1915 until 1940.

Neville oversaw appalling conditions on the State settlements like Moore River where many Aboriginal people were forced to live. These institutions had poor educational opportunities and horrific rates of disease and death. Aboriginal people survived by relying on their kinship and friendship networks. Aboriginal people’s houses became hubs for information, interaction, assistance and resistance to paternalistic state control.[8]

Land rights—the Native Title Tribunal (Federal Court of Australia, 1 Victoria Avenue)Edit

The Deanery—site of the Old Jail (corner St Georges Terrace and Pier Street)Edit

This site is where Midgegooroo, father of Yagan, who was captured by the colonial police force on 17 May 1833, was sentenced to death by firing squad on 22 May 1833, despite unreliable evidence and the absence of any defence. [9]

Supreme Court Gardens (corner Riverside Drive and BARRACK Street)Edit

This particular area, has been long utilised by Whadjuk Noongar for leisure and protest. White City, also known as ‘Cooee City’ or ‘Ugly Land’, first established in the gardens behind the Supreme Court at the time of World War I, was a popular summer amusement park. Many Perth residents, including Aboriginal people, would gather here to socialise and dance together. Despite the popularity of White City, it was closed down in 1929 following a prolonged campaign by people who objected to it on moral grounds including the Chief Protector of Aborigines, A. O. Neville. Because Aboriginal people were excluded from many of the restaurants in Perth until the 1960s, public spaces like the Supreme Court Gardens and the Esplanade became important gathering places. They were also the locations of regular political meetings. [10]

The Coolbaroo League and the Perth Town Hall (corner Barrack Street and Hay Street)Edit

The Coolbaroo club was founded in 1946 by Kimberley Aboriginal woman Helena Clarke, Yamatji brothers George and Jack Poland, and wedjela man Geoff Harcus, under the Coolbaroo League. One of the most well known activities the League was the Coolbaroo Club dances at the Modern Women’s Club. Sadly it was shut down due to its location in the Prohibited Area. The group moved the Coolbaroo Club dances to East Perth, where on some occasions they attracted over 600 people. [11]

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whadjuk
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noongar
  4. file:///home/chronos/u-0d3e58bf3d383050eb6578953af796da2e87471b/MyFiles/Downloads/Walking%20Tours_%20This%20city%20is%20Wadjuk%20country_PDF.pdf
  5. file:///home/chronos/u-0d3e58bf3d383050eb6578953af796da2e87471b/MyFiles/Downloads/Walking%20Tours_%20This%20city%20is%20Wadjuk%20country_PDF.pdf
  6. https://www.creativespirits.info/australia/western-australia/perth/swan-river#ixzz6lO0Obxsj
  7. file:///home/chronos/u-0d3e58bf3d383050eb6578953af796da2e87471b/MyFiles/Downloads/Walking%20Tours%20Fighting%20rights%20and%20recognition_PDF.pdf
  8. file:///home/chronos/u-0d3e58bf3d383050eb6578953af796da2e87471b/MyFiles/Downloads/Walking%20Tours%20Fighting%20rights%20and%20recognition_PDF.pdf
  9. file:///Users/228994d/Downloads/Walking%20Tours%20Fighting%20rights%20and%20recognition_PDF.pdf
  10. file:///Users/228994d/Downloads/Walking%20Tours%20Fighting%20rights%20and%20recognition_PDF.pdf
  11. file:///Users/228994d/Downloads/Walking%20Tours%20Fighting%20rights%20and%20recognition_PDF.pdf

Yeye Birdiyah Boorloo - Todays leaders in PerthEdit

Boorloo JusticeEdit