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Perth

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Encounters. Indigenous contact and culture: a classroom resource

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Noongar country

Perth, Western Australia

Noongar country extends across south-western Australia and includes the Swan River region. In 1829, Noongar people were confronted by the arrival of British colonists. Explore how the two groups interacted and how Noongar culture is practised today.

  • A map of Australia indicating the location of Perth, Western Australia.
    Perth, Western Australia
  • Noongar country
    Setting the scene
  • A hook consisting of a long wooden shaft, with a smaller length of wood attached so that protrudes at a slight angle. It is attached with wound fibre and gum.
    Kalga (honey-gathering hook)
  • A sculpture made of carved wood in the shape of a surfboard inset with infused coloured glass, featuring turtle motifs swimming through water.
    Boyi Moort carved surfboard

Activities

Match the words to the pictures

What do know about Perth?

Video story

Learn about making a kodj (axe)

Watch this video of Noongar girl Lily Wilson talking about making a kodj (axe) with her grandmother, Noongar Elder Laurel Nannup, and her father, Brett Nannup.

Activity: Make a movie about a skill or family tradition taught to you by your parents, grandparents or an older friend or relative. Explain the skill or tradition passed on to you and what materials you need to preserve it.

More activities

Kalga (honey-gathering hook)

Activity: Samuel Talbot described how people used the honey-gathering hook, above, in his 1838 notes ‘Implements used by the natives’. Find out more about the types of food Noongar people ate. You can start your research on the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council website. What foods are similar to foods you eat today? What foods are different?

Boyi Moort (Turtle Families) carved surfboard

Look carefully at the Boyi Moort artwork above and read this quote by artist and Noongar man Peter Farmer, 2015:

When I was a young boy, when we swam in the rivers or the ocean, we would see if we could see any turtles – a strong and significant totem in my father’s country.

Activity: Design your own surfboard, thinking about what animal you could use to represent your family. Draft your design digitally or use materials such as card, cellophane, pencils and pastels.

Cultural exchange

Activity: Miago and Samuel Talbot were interested in other people’s cultures. Have you ever had an experience of a culture other than your own? What happened? How did it feel? Share your story with a classmate and listen to their story. What are the similarities and differences between your experiences?

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