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Place Names


Walyalup Overview Mob

Sandy Mckendrick

Artist Natalie Scholtz working on cultural mapping with community members


Place Names Walyalup is an inclusive community arts and cultural development project produced by CAN in partnership with Moodjar Consultancy, the Noongar community and the City of Fremantle.

Inspired by Professor Len Collard’s seminal research, CAN and Moodjar Consultancy have developed a community-led, creative model for decoding the ancient meanings embedded in placenames.

Working with Noongar Elders and community members, Elders Len Collard and Geri Hayden led decoding workshops that placed local knowledge, language, memories and stories as primary sources. Reviews of historical documents and wordlists created by European settlers were secondary sources. This process decoded the Noongar names of five prominent local locations in Walyalup; Cantonment Hill, Bather’s Beach, the Waterways, the Ocean and Rocky Bay.

Using a creative cultural mapping method led by arts practitioners, Natalie Scholtz, Elly Jones and Sandy McKendrick the Walyalup group explored these five placenames which have resulted in an exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre.

The meanings and stories have been creatively expressed in a large-scale cultural map, more than 40 individual artworks, a series of short films, educational resources and an interactive digital map.

Project Process

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Place Names References

24 August 2021

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Voices of Walyalup

11 August 2021

Project Testimonials

As a member of the stolen generations, I have felt tremendous healing in learning about this ancestral Dreamtime story [Dwertawirrinup]. And while sharing it with you, I have experienced healing. I have experienced a reconnection with country, with my wider moort, other Noongar people. And this has meant a powerful source of healing, of reconnecting, of knowing who I am and where I come from.

Project Team

Project Outcomes

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