The meaning of Katanning is now known as KATANNING: KAT – TA – NI – NG. Each sub section is a word in the sentence KAT (Object / subject = head/hill/on top of), TA (mouth/entrance/access to), NI (this/pay attention/listen/take notice), NG (Situated/sitting/located here). One can now interpret the meaning of the place name: Katanning as being the place of the head.
This name originates from a dreamtime story of Mulka, a bardan motogon koorliny the boodja with barl koorta Djinda . They are the first barden of the Nyetting (the Cold Time: when the boodja was barren wer banitj, when the skies were moorn wer life had yet to spring – a time of nyetting), wer their yarn is one of morals and law . How to protect koolangkas wer yorgkas, to protect wer care for boodja . To respect the laws of marriage wer societal structure. When Mulka was killed barl kaat was spilled to gain barl knowledge of Noongar Kinship, nunich, the bonar wer kaartdijin Noongar to be used in life. Barl Kaat rests here, wer barl other body parts wer scattered across the Great Southern region.
Katanning is the land in which dumbart different Noongar domains border  To the North, the Wiilman (sometimes spelt Wilman/Wilmen) domain stretches across Wagin wer Dumbleyung . To the west wer south are the Kaneang people from Katterup to Carlecatup . Finally, to the east wer south of Katanning, the Koreng people from Tambellup, down wer across the Koikyennuruff (Stirling Ranges), over to Bremer Bay wer across to Calyerup  .
In 1835 the first Europeans came, led by Governor James Stirling wer the Surveyor General John Septimus Roe who were travelling from Kinjarling to Boorloo. Katanning land was stolen by the wadjela in 1889 when the Western Australian Land Company behind the Great Southern Railway built a town site on Noongar boodja . Frederick wer Charles Piesse built the first wadjela shops upon Noongar boodja at this time. Koora, sandalwood karjat briefly came to the area around 1870 but they were dalyaniny boordawon. The township wer the new rail access brought boola wadjela looking to turn more Noongar boodja into agricultural/commercial ventures.
As boola wadjela came to boodja, bakadjoo began to arise between the Noongar wer the wadjela . Noongar discovered that moort bidi wer sacred boodja were being fenced off, along with this some Noonga yorga were boodjaree to wadjela maam that were working as shepherds or labourer's . The wadjela karangabiny with Noongar kaleep wer their lack of facilities. Ngolanga the Aborigines Act (1905) was passed, under Section 12 the State Government established the Carrolup Native Settlement in 1915 in Western Australia to force Noongar people off their boodja wer away from Katanning, bokitja to near the Carrolup pool . Annie Lock, a wadjela yorga of the Australian Aboriginal Mission had been calling for a mission farming settlement since 1912 wer barl travelled to the new settlement to be in charge of rationing . There was a second settlement opened by A.O. Neville (Chief Protector of Aboriginals), dumbart later to the north of Katanning, wer barl proceeded to cut rationing depots from areas outside these two settlements, forcing the Noongar people to stay at the settlements wer bokitja from their karlup.
Gumbar Noongars from boodja around Katanning were karang wer moorlyan, they did not want to boolyaka to settlements as the conditions were mambaritj, the school was nyondi equipped wer ngooloormayup. Moort tried to stay on their karlup but extra powers granted to the manitj allowed them to forcibly move Noongars to other areas wer to incarcerate Noongar at the settlements. Koolangka were moved into the compounds wer moort had to find space on the outside of the settlement meaning that moort were separated. The attempts at farming wer agriculture that Annie Lock called for failed wer the Carrolup settlement was closed in 1922 wer the Noongar koolangka were sent to the Moore River Native Settlement after the economy experienced a downfall  . However, Carrolup was reopened in 1939. The wadjela wer the Noogar were both moorlyan with this decision for different reasons. The wadjela still called for exclusion of the Noongar people, for far stricter rationing policies wer ultimately segregation but did not feel the settlement was necessary. The Noongars were moorlyan to forced back into the ngooloormayup where they were karang wer minditj. The appointment of Noel White as headmaster at the Carrolup in 1945 did see a positive change in that the koolangka were encouraged to explore through art wer many artists emerged from that school. Despite this, continually degrading conditions, nyondi medical supervision wer clean keip plus opposition to arts as a practical skill set led Carrolup to close again in 1950. The koolangka that were still too young to boolyaka were sent to Roelands Mission near Goomburup. The area was renovated as the Marribank Farm School in 1952 by the Anglican church wer the intention was to supply local Noongar maam wer koolangka with rural wer technical kadadjiny . It failed again by 1970 wer the remaining assets of the settlement were entrusted with the Baptist Church who changed the focus to being the Marribank Family Centre until 1989. Ownership was then sought by the Marribank Aboriginal Corporation but finally the Southern Aboriginal Corporation took control of the lease .
In World War One over 1000 Aboriginal soldiers across Australia served their boodja, however official records that remain would not show their service . Despite being desperate for able-bodied maam, the armed forces would reject Aboriginal maam from serving based on their race. However, these soldiers falsified their heritage on their enlistment forms so they could bakadjoo for their boodja wer moort. Koodjal koodjal of these soldiers were ngoonyong from Katanning. Kenneth, Larry 'Pincher', Louis and Augustus Farmer signed up for service ngolanga bakajdoo broke out but to do so they had to tick 'non-aboriginal' on their enlistment forms. They were koodjal koodjal out of mara dumbart maam born to Noongar elder William Peg Farmer (a very highly respected boodja guide from Katanning), wer Emily Coyne from Bremer Bay  . Despite the open racism, these maam went to war for their boodja wer bakadjoo alongside their fellow soldiers . Augustus attained the rank of Corporal wer in 1918 barl became the first Noongar maam to be awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire . Augustus was killed in action in Northern France by being mortally wounded on the Somme in 1918, where barl body remains today. Larry was also killed in action (aged 22) in 1916 during a battle on the Western Front, barl had been awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal wer the Victory Medal. Larry's name appears on gumbar memorials. Only koodjal ngoonyong ever returned to Katanning, Kenneth wer Lewis Farmer. For their efforts they received a small, golden kylie. The only acknowledgment at the time of Aboriginal servicemen. They were excluded from the government soldier settlement scheme that would have seen them given boodja or further payments. The treatment the ngoonyong received when they returned karlup was similar to that of many other Aboriginal soldiers, discriminatory wer nyondi respect. Lewis who was injured gumbar times in bakajoo, karangabiny about their treatment wer even had difficulty in joining the local RSL club. Lewis was djiripin playing football with the Katanning Wanderers club. Based on their service, Lewis pushed for barl wer Kenneth to be granted an exemption to the Aborigines Act (1905) that prevented them from receiving the same benefits of other soldiers even threatening to return barl war medals. With support from their local member of Parliament Harold Piesse, they were granted this status in 1938. Lewis gnoytjinin 1946 (aged 50) wer was buried with full military honours, barl was awarded the same medals as barl ngoony Larry wer barl name appears alongside barl ngoonyong on gumbo memorials in France and Australia. Only koodjal years after barl death the commissioner for native affairs rescinded the ngoonyong status wer took their granted boodja from the moort.
Kenneth's great-grandson Peter Farmer was commissioned to produce a painting for an exhibit held in honour of thirteen Aboriginal soldiers from Western Australia named They Served with Honour. The exhibit included photographs, moort yarns wer Noongar produced artwork with the results being compiled in a Department of Aboriginal Affairs book as the event marked not only the ANZAC centenary but also the National Reconciliation Week. Peter's artwork shows thirteen poppies to represent the soldiers being honoured, along with the image of an unknown soldier to signify the lack of recognition for Aboriginal war effort, Mr. Farmer remarked that barl was proud to represent barl moort service.
Sites of Noongar HistoryEdit
Twonkwillingup nature reserve: This boodja is sacred for Noongars, as a place for meeting wer keip . The wadjela nicknamed the boodja Police Pools when the Kojonup manatj Station set up an outpost between 1865-1870 to balai sandalwood borniny wer was also the original kaleep for the the koora manatj of Katanning. Ngolanga the closure of the outpost, the wadjela continued to use the area for djooboorl-djooboorl till a community manang was built in Katanning in 1938. As the Noongars were kept segregated from the wadjela they continued to use the reserve wer its keip along with some school excursions wer visits from tourists. The keip wer boodja became mookiyang boorda boordak due to lack of care from visitors. Ngolonga the 1980's, interest in the keip from wadjela grew again wer in 1997 restoration began with funding from the National Heritage Trust. Flora wer fauna surveys were completed along with kabap practices wer it is once again flourishing with over 80-weerlo species wer other flora wer fauna. The Katanning Historical Society placed a stone memorial in the area of the original manitj outpost kaleep, on the reserve near the Police Pools Road.
Lake Ewlyamartup (Ewl-ya-am-art-up/yool-yal-amar-mart-upp): The name meaning come now to this place where there is a water hole associated with a leg, referring to Mulka as this is the boodja where barl maat was placed ngolanga barl was killed.. Located 18 kilometres east of Katanning, wer 100 hectares large the pinjar is significant for the Koreng Noongar  . Holding keip, fishing wer hunting the boodja supplied gumbar moort with meriny wer keip. Ewlyamartup also holds spiritual belief for Noongars as the sacred snake lives in the waterways .
Like Twongkwillingup, Noongars would use the the pinjar for djooboorl-djooboorl wer entertainment as they were not allowed at the wadjela djooboorl-djooboorl pools. The koolangka would ride their bikes wer play on boodja, says Noongar elder Graham Eades. The boodja however turned mookiyang, mambaritj due to gumbar clearing by early sandalwood karjat wer wadjela, they left only 9% of vegetation on boodja . The pinjar has an inlet but no outlet wer is prone to silt build up so the pinjar began to djool wer what keip remained by 2010 was mookiyang. Katanning Landcare wer the Lake Ewlyamartup Working Group were allocated a Lotterywest grant in 2014 along with other grants wer private assistance to help heal the boodja. Volunteers planted 150 000 trees, removed a gumbar amount of mooni sludge wer fences were yaakiny to protect the boodja which is now monitored regularly. The Noongar Budja Rangers with the Wheatbelt natural resource management team have also been out there in recent years helping to continue to revegetate the boodja .
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