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Voices of Walyalup

Voices of Walyalup
By Community Arts Network
11 August 2021

Meet the incredible community that came together to create Place Names Walyalup.

Rachael Ellen Zani

I am a proud Noongar woman from the Goreng clan in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. I was born in the Northern Territory, and grew up in Queensland.
I had a mild cultural upbringing due to being on the other side of Australia. However, once moving back home, I’ve reconnected with my roots and loved taking opportunities to explore my homeland. My mum and Auntie encouraged me to come along to the Walyalup/CAN artwork meetings and it’s really great being able to meet my own people. I’ve particularly enjoyed the laughter and the chance to reconnect, while contributing to create a beautiful piece of my culture.


Chelsey Thomson

I was born in East Fremantle. I am a Whadjuk Yorga, a Collard, Bennell. Parents are from east and south Freo and I spent a lot of my childhood playing and growing up around these areas. Art is not something I was interested in however I found being a part of this project was spiritually healing for me, it also gave me a sense of belonging and brought out hidden talents. I have taken from this project the stories, knowledge and experience to my teachings, to keep our culture alive within all of us.


Dr Gerrard Shaw

I am Gerrard Shaw, a Nyoongar Yued Whadjuk man; part of the Stolen Generations.
I was removed from my mother, Ruby Shaw, my two brothers Charlie and Peter Shaw and grandmother, Victoria Blurton. I was denied all knowledge of my family’s cultural heritage. Not knowing who you are and where you have come from can have dire outcomes. It certainly did for me. At a crucial point in my life, I decided to address these important questions. As soon as I established contact with my Aboriginal family and culture, my healing journey began and continues through to today.

I wanted to be part of Place Names Walyalup because it would allow me to continue the healing by meeting moort (family) and learning about culture from fellow Elders.

I was made to feel a valued participant and would leave each meeting feeling enriched, uplifted and empowered due to meeting moort and hearing their stories. In return, I attempted with the help of my brother Sam to contribute to the project of tracing on canvas the Cultural significance of flora, fauna and place. This included Manjaree, Wadjemup, Garrungup (the home of the Waugal), and Dwertaweeardinup (the place of the dingo spirit). As a result of the project, stories were told of the Walyalup Dreaming - such as the Waugal and Yondock (the crocodile).

Sam proved to be a particularly valued source of information when he told me how my mother had taken him in and cared for him. Sam also shared stories about my Uncle Billy Shaw with whom he also had contact. These are just two moments that pinpoint moments of healing. Priceless.


Christine Reich

My name is Christine Reich, I am a Goreng clan Elder, within Wagyl Kaip Country.

I became involved with the CAN project after a friend sent me information on a session that involved understanding of Noongar places and what their names meant. As learning and developing my understanding of Noongar language has always been a passion,
I went and have participated and enjoyed every session since.

What I enjoyed the most was talking, laughing and sharing stories with Elders and the wider community members. I have definitely enriched my knowledge of Noongar words, placenames and culture. I loved re-connecting with past associates and making new friendships.


Freda Ogilvie

My name is Freda. I am a Whadjuk Elder. I have lived in Walyalup for umpteen years, we moved down here when I was nine years old to koornt boodjar (White Gum Valley). I am interested in rejuvenating and revitalising our language, because a lot of people weren’t allowed to learn language growing up. I think what brings it home was my career in education as a Principal and knowing there were two worlds that I lived in.
I was fortunate to be in a family group where language was used everyday, so I am re-learning and re-building my koort, my heart.


Farley Garlett

My name is Farley. I come from the Garlett family, also related to the Bennell’s. I was related to just about everyone in the room involved in Place Names Walyalup. What I took from Place Names is people recording some of these names of places that we all know so well. I think it is really interesting to see what other people knew and didn’t know in the group, and it was a great learning process. It was good because there were people there in the room who hadn’t been exposed to these names, history and stories. It was good for people to hear others talking.


Samuel Dinah

My name is Samuel James Dinah. I identify as a Nyoongar person, and my family come from the Ngudu / Mineng tribe from Mount Barker, Albany and Esperance in the Great Southwest of WA. The Place Names project gives light to the community at large, details to the wider community about how Walyalup has changed.

This story that I’m about to tell you has been handed down to me. When you look at the map of Derbarl Yerrigan it depicts a date and time prior to colonisation. The river is a picture of a woman, a mother figure, ngangk, who was responsible for the water, introducing and opening up the freshwater to the saltwater. When tribes camped along the river they were able to go fishing. That mother figure was responsible for the waterways. Through her there was life source, ngangk means mother, giver of life.


Sharon Calgaret

My name is Sharon Calgaret, I am a Whadjuk Noongar yorga. I really enjoyed being part of the Place Names project.

The workshops were a great friendly place to meet people and yarn. We shared our stories and learnt more of the Noongar words of the different places and animals of this country around Fremantle.

There were many people that I hadn’t seen for ages, the meetings were a great chance to see them all again and meet new people. It was like being with a group of old friends, where I could really be myself and laugh and joke and yarn.

Being invited and encouraged to be a part of this project gave me the confidence to add what I felt was important to the canvas. I am really pleased with the artwork that we all put into the canvas map painting.


Trevor Walley

Place Names was a collective effort and collectively we pulled this together. We were all on the same platform, I think collectively we rise together. We all listened and learnt, had something to say then we listened and we learnt again. The energy was the outcome and that’s what we achieved.


Turid Calgaret

I am a Whadjuk Noongar yorga who grew up in Fremantle. I am a practising artist who lives in Hilton with my three children. I was initially a bit hesitant to join the workshops, but loved it from the first day. We learnt more about our culture through storytelling and group discussion at each workshop. We learnt about specific places, their traditional names and the stories behind them.

It was a great experience for me and I felt proud that more people were going to be able to understand the significance of our local country.

The artistic and creative aspects of the workshops were very enjoyable. Everyone contributing to the final image made it so meaningful. Learning and working alongside my mum and youngest son on a project that had such cultural significance was a humbling experience.


Betty Garlett

My name is Betty Garlett, and I am a Traditional Owner and Elder of Whadjuk county.

I found Place Names interesting because of the decoding of the names in Walyalup and that I live in the Fremantle area. I have other projects going on and I have been able to use this Place Names project as it has assisted me in the naming of other places in the community.


Vickie Zani

I am a proud Noongar woman from the Goreng clan. I was born in Katanning (1961) and had a strong cultural upbringing.

When I was 17, I moved to Willagee, Perth, where I worked for 10 years. I then left WA to travel and explore our beautiful country. Raised 4 children, as well as fostering
8 other children. Moved back to WA in late 2018. My sister invited me to accompany her to the Walyalup meetings.

Being away for 35 years, Walyalup / CAN gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my culture and family ancestry.

I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie, the stories, good people and endless laughter.

Participating in the artwork and the making of the ‘map’ has been exhilarating and has filled me with so much pride and longing to explore more of my culture.


Glenys Yarran

I am an Elder from Whadjuk and Ballardong country, born in Ballardong. I enjoyed being involved in Place Names, the activities and people’s company. I would like to continue to be involved in things like this. I enjoyed being connected to my people and hearing of the ancestors; how they lived and continue to live in our lives now.


Garry Shaun Garlett

My name is Garry Garlett. My mother’s family are Jettas from Ntaki Ntaki country.
I attended Place Names at first for healing, but it soon became interesting when I heard the stories from our history. The painting was therapeutic and made my life’s journey more culturally sound. I have given to this project, but have taken more from it.


Leah Dinah

Family name: Dinah
Father’s Name: Dinah’s / Miller’s Mother’s Name: Walley’s / Lynden’s

My knowledge of wanting to be part of this workshop is to get to learn about our culture and to find peace within my spiritual grounds and the meaning to our warriors. Learning and taking steps in the workshop showed and made me feel very gifted. Also our beautiful artwork taught me how much each living culture means to us.



Cherith Dinah

My family on my mum’s side is Lynden’s and Walley’s and my family on my dad’s side is Dinah’s and Miller’s. My country is Whadjuk. I wanted to be a part of the Place Names project to hear, see and learn more about our culture. I enjoyed doing the artwork, making the map and the placing of art work on the map.


Sacha Ogilvie

I wanted to be part of Place Names Walyalup to learn from community Elders, inspire myself to get into art more and help keep culture alive. I feel very privileged to have been a part of this project. I have been living off-country throughout the Kimberley in recent years. I did grow up and spend most of my life in East Fremantle so it was a very warm welcome, a feeling of being home and an overwhelming sense of belonging. The workshops did a lot for me spiritually and emotionally, it was a process in healing and reconnecting back home on country.


Sharon Wood-Kenney

I am a Noongar Yamatji yok with ties across Whadjuk Country. I enjoyed being part of the process of bringing Elders and community together respectfully to share space with many stories heard. This project brought many of us together, finding family links and igniting a passion for our language that is very empowering.

It was an absolute privilege exploring and cracking the codes of Noongar language.


Angelina Sibosado

I am a Jetta and Councillor, Noongar and Yamaji. From the Starr family and the Councillor family. I painted the banksia on the Place Names map. The banksia is more like a sweet, you hit it on your hand and all the honey comes out. I took a lot of learning from all the Elders in Place Names, from all the different areas of Fremantle. I was really amazed about the stories that were being told and I would like one day to be able to do the same.


Paige Wood-Kenney

Ngany kwell Paige Wood-Kenney. Ngany moort Wood, Dodd, Cox, Smith and Cameron mob. Ngany moort from all over Noongar boodjar, and others from Yamatji country.

Being involved in the Walyalup Place Names project gave me a chance to sit and listen with my Elders.

I was so grateful to sit, listen deeply, and learn from my Elders and discuss language. It was truly an experience I will hold with me forever, and my katitjin (knowledge) from these meetings of the significance and meaning behind Walyalup place names will be one I cherish. I was lucky enough to illustrate the jellyfish on this piece.


Steven Garlett

I am Steven Garlett, Aboriginal and New Zealander. My mother is a New Zealander and my father is Aboriginal from WA - Noongar born in South Fremantle. I came to Place Names as I just wanted to learn about history and what’s out there - to pick up it. What can I teach? I want to know culture personally for myself, my pop has told me stories which has got me wanting to know more. I see Freo differently after Place Names, I would love to see more younger generations involved in things like this. We need more young people to learn more about where they’re walking.


Narelle Ogilvie

My family is Collard and Ogilvie. My moort is Whadjuk / Nhanda. I participated in the fire symbol on the map. I took part in this group on a healing journey to learn my culture and language. Hopefully one day English will be my second language.


Kay Walley

I think Place Names is a valuable learning tool for the community, and it will be great for future use and generations to come.


Teakiya Ugle

I learnt a lot of things from being part of Place Names Walyalup. I think more of my age group needs to know about culture and history so that they can tell the next generation. To put it out there and to keep our history alive.

Amelia Sherburn

Milli Penny

Mark Spicer

Valencia Riley

Maharlia Penny

Lesley Garlett

Vienna Walker

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