Perth Aboriginal History
Perth is located in the south western region of Australia and is surrounded by the Coral Coast, Australia’s South West, and the ‘Golden Outback’. Sitting along the widest stretch of Swan River, Perth was originally referred to as Boorloo and was part of the tribal lands of Yellagonga, a prominent Aboriginal leader.
The Nyungar people originally inhabited the south west corner of Western Australia as the coastal landscape was ideal for hunting and gathering. The area also held a significant spiritual meaning due to its connections with ocean and land.
Yagan, a member of the Nyungar tribe, was an instrumental part in Aboriginal resistance and visitors can see the statue of Yagan on the south island of Heirisson Island. A renowned hero, Yagan died while trying to avenge his father, who was killed by colonial settlers. His death was significant in ending relatively peaceful Aboriginal and European relations and marked the beginning of a century long oppression of the Aboriginal population. Yagan Memorial Park in the Swan Valley is a place for remembrance and reflection and features a walk-through art exhibition.
Perth proudly reflects its Aboriginal heritage and has many museums, galleries and parks dedicated to Aboriginal history, art and education. Aboriginal owned enterprises and cultural tours can be found all the over the town, as well as sites which are still used as Aboriginal meeting places. Only a few hundred metres from Perth CBD is a traditional Northbridge Aboriginal site. Known as the centre of social activity for the Nyoongar people, the location has also been used for political demonstrations for over 50 years.
Koutsoukis, A.J. (2002), A brief history of Western Australia, W.A. A & M Bookshop, Willeton.
City of Perth, Last Updated 11.03.10, Viewed 24.08.10, http://www.perth.wa.gov.au
Perth’s Aboriginal History, Creative Spirits, Viewed 24.08.10, http://www.creativespirits.info/ozwest/perth/aboriginalhistoryperth.html