Bindjareb Nyungar Country – How Mandurah’s waters came to be (and how you can explore them)
Mandjoogoordap, meaning ‘meeting place of the heart’ the original name of Mandurah given by traditional owners and custodians of the land – the Bindjareb Nyungar people, have looked after the Djilba (estuary) for over 50,000 years.
How Mandurah’s waters came to be is a fascinating First Nation creation story. As depicted in Bindjareb Nyungar Elder and highly respected artist Gloria Keating’s painting, it begins with a terrible drought.
The Aboriginal people of Mandurah found there were no waterways, so they went to the beach where they danced and sung for the great Waugal (snake) to come out of the sea. She came and began to create the Peel inlet and estuary.
She found she was carrying eggs and rested in between the estuary until her eggs hatched. Too tired, she instructed her babies to do the rest of the work. She sent one to create the Serpentine River, one to produce the Murray River and one to make the Harvey River, which formed the unique shape of Mandurah today.
How you can experience the world’s oldest living culture
There are many tours that explore the unique cultural heritage of Mandurah. Whether it’s a walking tour, overnight camping trip or a visit to Bindjareb Park in Pinjarra, you’ll learn about the Bindjareb Nyungar people and the places significant to them.
Include one or more of these tours on your next visit to Mandurah and the Peel region:
Thrombolites (Woggaal’s Noorook) tour
Take a trip with Mandjoogoordap Dreaming, where you’ll go on an exciting walking tour around the Lake Clifton Thrombolites – the world’s oldest bacterial life form. This rare and endangered natural feature is also significant in local Aboriginal culture, represented in the Dreaming story of the Woggaal’s (Waugal’s) eggs. Tours to this remarkable site depart by bus from Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.
Goolamwiin overnight camping tour
Come on an unforgettable journey exploring Aboriginal culture with Goolamwiin. Go hunting for bush tucker, medicine plants and freshwater, before setting up camp for the night. Participate in Aboriginal dance and experience a cultural healing ceremony. Enjoy an authentic campfire dinner and learn more about the Nyungar people listening to Dreamtime stories under the stars.
Extending a Welcome to Country through art
As part of the renovations taking place at the Mandurah Visitor Centre, we were excited to invite Bindjareb Boodja artists to submit artwork that reflects Bindjareb Boodja, its waterways, coastal location, local flora and fauna or cultural stories connected to the area. The winning entry will be announced later this month. The winning artwork will feature as part of the decorative Welcome to Country’ design on the main wall of the refurbished Mandurah Visitor Centre reception area.
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