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Kura, Yeye, boorda Walwalinyup: from the past, today and the future Fremantle

Len Collard

Collard, Len 2007, 'Kura, Yeye, boorda Walwalinyup: from the past, today and the future Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 5: 9-21.

Pindjarup Nyungar boordier Joe Walley said

so these old stories, white people don’t believe them, they think are not true. Well, how many stories going right back, can you say is true? I am a firm believer in the old Aboriginal ways. How many stories can you say is true? The Bible, because it is written down? When we speak, it is verbally a handed down story. They say they are just words, you make it up. What is the difference between a man’s written word or a person’s word that is not written down? There is no difference. Well, one is written down and one is spoken. Yes, but it had to be spoken for it to be written down, ha ha ha. There is no difference at all. 1


Since early colonial times non-Nyungar social and historical commentators have largely controlled formal recording of the history of the Nyungar or people of the south west of Western Australia (WA). Up until very recent times there have been few attempts to undertake a comprehensive analysis of how Nyungar create and interpret history. This is despite the fact that for many years Indigenous families and communities have been calling for the commissioning of history work which reflects distinctly Indigenous (for example Nyungar, Yamatji, Koori, Murri, Nunga or Palawa) interpretations of history. Various authorities and policy groups have highlighted the importance of Indigenous people recording their own histories and the need for non-Aboriginal people to learn more about Indigenous peoples’ contribution to history. At the same time there has been growing interest in fostering the historical knowledge of the ways that Nyungar and other regional Indigenous people create histories as well as the ways Indigenous Australians make histories with non-Aboriginal Australians and international historians and these relationships.

A number of commentators have recently critiqued the minimal recognition of Nyungar, Murri and Koori ideology and theories within the social sciences. 2 As a Nyungar it is important for me to recognise the existence of Nyungar worldview theories, attitudes, values, cosmological beliefs and ways of how to use these notions as starting points for any research projects relating to history work. Nyungar worldviews, theories or ideologies have existed for over 50000 years however, Nyungar existence has always been acknowledged since time immemorial. 3

Nyungar historians need to continue to speak and write about history from our own theoretical positions by using the notions of creation, country, people and knowledge. It is no longer acceptable to ignore our own cultural frameworks and condone the colonial models of the Aborigine or of Aboriginal histories. As a Whadjuck/Balardong Nyungar, it is, along with all Nyungar, our responsibility to acknowledge the variety within Nyungar and importance of acknowledging our own regional and political identities as the basis for doing Nyungar historical work. 4

This paper reflects the approaches theorised, researched and developed by Nyungar historians who have undertaken historical work encompassing both traditional and contemporary events with a particular focus on lands within the south west of Western Australia.

Nyungar history, social, cultural and language diversity

History, social, cultural and language diversity as an interpretive exercise, as much as an account of past events, is well accepted. With regard to the Nyungar history of WA since colonisation, both the interpretation and formal documenting of history has been, for the most part, the province of non-Nyungar people. 5 Until recently, the diversity of Aboriginal language groups of which Tindale mapped over 500 throughout Australia has generally been overlooked .6 Of these 500 language groups, twelve belong to Nyungar which is the person or people in the south western Australian Indigenous language group. The word Nyungar is not gender specific. 7 Other ways of defining, spelling and using this term include Nyoongah which, according to Davis, literally means ‘man’ in the languages of the south west. 8 Another is Nyoongar and according to Bennell is an Aboriginal tribe of WA 9 and finally Nyungar according to Arthur is from the local language from the people or Nyungar of south west of WA. 10

The twelve geopolitical language groups within Nyungar are Balardong, Juat, Kaneang, Koreng, Minang, Njakinjaki, Pibelmen, Pindjarup, Wardandi, Whadjuk, Wiilman and Wudjari. 11 Some of the other regional identities in WA include: Wongi, which is the generic name of the Aboriginal people from the Eastern Goldfields region of WA and Yamatji, which is the generic name of the Aboriginal people in the Murchison and Gascoyne areas of the mid west of this state, while in the north west of WA, in what is known as the Pilbara, are peoples who refer to themselves as Mulba or Marlba and the Martu or Mardu. 12 Further north, in the Kimberley region, are Aboriginal people who are identified by their respective groups like the Tawuru of Broome 13, the Kwini of Kalumburu 14 and Ngarinyin around Derby 15, to name a few. There are many more groups throughout the Kimberley who also insist on identifying themselves by their traditional names. They are not identified as one group like the Nyungar, Wongi or Yamatji. 16

The 1974 Tindale map is a valuable tool to be used to identify the specific geographical and linguistic groups within Nyungar boodjar such as the Balardong, Koreng or Kaneang groups. This is also useful for historians who may be interested in the geography of other Indigenous peoples of Australia such as Koori, Mulba, Murri, Nunga, Pallawah or Wyba. This tool could well challenge the continuous generic use of the term ‘Aborigine’. The Budget Macquarie Dictionary’s definition of an Aborigine is ‘one of a race of tribal peoples, the earliest known to live in Australia’ or ‘(generally) one of a people living in a country or place from earliest known times’. 17 Alternatively, Arden’s etymological explanation of the term ‘Aboriginal’ refers ‘Ab’ (from the Latin); [he explains] meaning ‘from’ or ‘out of’ origin meaning ‘beginning’ or ‘source’ and ‘al’ (also from the Latin) meaning ‘one belonging to’. Combining this with the word ‘origo’ (Latin) which is translated as ‘I arise’ or ‘become visible’, ‘An Aboriginal is one who, from the beginning, is rising and becoming visible’. 18

However, a more contemporary definition developed by the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs situated people in a network of Aboriginal kinship and affinity and not by appearance: ‘An Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander person is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives’. 19 The term ‘Aborigine’ does not tell us anything about the regional diversity of Indigenous Australians and it tells me even less about the richness of my own cultural, language and geopolitical systems in Nyungar boodjar. It simply tells us that we are the original peoples of Australia


The issue of identity is central to Indigenous people. To describe the Koori, Nyungar, Mulba, Murri, Nunga, Pallawah, Wongi or Wyba as Aborigines or Indigenous Australians denies us our own diversity and identity. As Tindale identified, there are over 500 or more geopolitical language groups across Australia. Each of the language groups has their own identity, language, kinship systems, country, belief systems and story to tell. However, even though the twelve Nyungar language groups are identified as separate entities, they nevertheless share the same identity, language, kinship systems, country, belief systems and story about their past.

Jules Whiteway amply supports the view that Aboriginality ‘has nothing to do with the colour of my skin. It’s about respect, culture, community and kin’. 20 Yamatji woman Darlene Oxenham states that the ‘importance of the issues of kinship, family and obligations’ described her Aboriginality:

I think I may have asked the question, ‘What is Aboriginality, or is there an essence?’ And we looked a bit deeper into what it means to be Aboriginal, and some of those things that we looked at included family relationships, and the obligations you have to relations. We also looked at each of our territorial feelings: and we saw that as quite a defining point because each of us knew where we were actually from, and that had a lot of importance. 21

Despite this critical analysis, it can be difficult to avoid using the terminology ‘Indigenous Australians’ or ‘Aborigine’. However, I try to minimise its use wherever possible and I am confident that these terms are only used in a more general sense when describing the Australian Indigenous people as ‘a whole’. I will mainly use the term Nyungar or the regional terms (eg Juat or Minang) in this paper.


A number of different language variations occur amongst the Balardong, Juat, Kaneang, Koreng, Minang, Njakinjaki, Pibelmen, Pindjarup, Wardandi, Whadjuck, Wiilman and Wudjari in the south west of WA.22 Furthermore and as previously discussed, there are even variations in the spelling of the word which include Nyoongah, Nyoongar or Nyungar. This semantic variation is a reflection of both regional dialect differences as well as an attempt by individuals or groups in these areas to retain, in a modern Australian society, a sense of independence and difference within. I acknowledge that including the Nyungar language in research work has been somewhat difficult because of the different ways our words have been spelt over the course of time. 22

Despite the different spellings, the incorporation of Nyungar language/s and expressions to describe history in terms of creation events, spirit places, people, events, landscape, artefacts, ora and fauna is quintessential to any proper understanding of the use of Nyungar knowledge in the study and development of Nyungar history. Nyungar writing about Nyungar history and language should find this approach not only interesting but, more importantly, it will symbolically demonstrate that this approach to making history recognises the continued significance and power of our knowledge about the boodjar or country or geography and wangkiny or language or speech and moort or family or relations as an applied practice, it will also signify to the reader that Nyungar culture and language is alive and strong within the context of talking about and writing histories. 23

Nyungar language is evident in place names, suburbs, trees and animals found throughout the South West. They have been incorporated into the Australian-English language usage, and it proves that Nyungar have remained faithful to our Nyungar wangkiny despite regressive policies and practices being imposed upon us. These practices assist in restoring and preserving Nyungar ways of expressing history, culture and experience. As stated by the late Ralph Winmar, Baladong Elder and ‘Keeper of the Stories’, ‘Nyungar language has a harmonious quality, and it is a real treat to hear two fluent speakers in conversation.’ 24

Constructing Nyungar history

Constructing a Nyungar interpretation of history demands a disruption of colonial and historical discourses with a concomitant acknowledgement that it, too, will be a partial account mediated by past and present interpretations of history. The construction of a Nyungar history will ensure that one does not, like some non-Nyungar writers, suffer the consequences of blindly adopting western colonial history discourses, assumptions about what is more believable written records verses oral memories, and cartographic naming conventions which can easily lead one into talking about Nyungar worldviews, creation stories, languages, land uses and cultural lifestyles as if they no longer exist or as a footnote in some version of history. Doing research into Nyungar history I have noticed that official colonial maps, images and other written texts almost always refer to Nyungar cultural forms, land use and names in the past tense. I suspect this reflects the way official histories focus most attention on Nyungar land use prior and into the early colonisation period after 1829. In direct contrast to the inference that Nyungar culture died out soon after colonisation, many Nyungar continue to enjoy talking about their boodjar or country, moort or family and katitjin or knowledge and utilising their wangkiny or language or speech to remind others of the histories of places and the events that take place there. Indeed, it is still the case today that many Nyungar, be they Whadjuck, Balardong, Pindjarup or Minang, continue to access their own kinship land areas amongst the forests, rivers, mountains and plains of the south western portion of Australia for sustenance, historical knowledge, spiritual renewal and practice distinctly cultural forms or business matters. 25

It is crucial that we as Nyungar acknowledge that our historical conclusions are provisional, open to criticism by Nyungar and wedjela or white fellows alike and be seen as a set of stories about the past rather than the definitive and fixed true story. Like wedjela, Nyungar also sometimes differ in their interpretation of historical events. Having said this, one feature of the many discussions that will take place between Nyungar involved in this kind of history making approach is the degree of respect accorded to people who may have had a different historical perspective or story to tell.

Nyungar theory

As part of a team of Nyungar writing about the past we started by discussing our Cosmology or Nyungar worldview or creation time and used it as one of our guiding principles to develop a Nyungar theoretical and cultural framework for history making and telling. We engaged a set of propositions which enabled my Nyungar colleagues and I to put into context how Nyungar knowledge is theoretically constructed, passed on and supported in an applied way. The foundation of our theory is the trilogy of boodjar, moort and katitjin. This trilogy provides the structure for our Cosmology which is the beginning of our history. Our approach shows that the three are intrinsic; one cannot apply this theory by using one of the major components without the others. On this basis, boodjar or country is the first major theoretical component. Moort or family or kinship is the second, followed by katitjin or knowledge as the third. Therefore, it is fundamental for researchers investigating Nyungar histories to appreciate the content, method and context of Nyungar theory as a basis for this style of research for history making. Brown supports this notion and suggests that any Nyungar history must emerge from the way Nyungar people construct reality. 26

Whadjuck/Balardong Nyungar boordier and ‘Keeper of the Stories’ Pop Tom ‘Yelakitj’ Bennell states

In days to come all these white people in W.A., Western Australia what I could call it. Where the Nyungar they never call it Western Australia. Ngulla boodjar they call this ngulla boodjar. 27

In the south west, yeye or today, as in kura or the past, Nyungar boordier (leaders or elders) play a role as custodians of all katitjin, both theoretical and practical which are to be passed on from one generation to the next and so on. Today this continues through intergenerational Nyungar interaction using oral both speaking or singing and written discourses both text and paintings. This, in turn, records and perpetuates the need to use Nyungar theory, language, values, attitudes and beliefs as a basis for intergenerational transmission of katitjin, both theoretical and applied, by and among Nyungar and others engaging in history making. As each generation passes on, it is then our and their duty, as the current and future generation of Nyungar, to take on these custodial responsibilities. These include keeping harmony with social protocols in our past, current and future worlds by ensuring that each successive generation of regional Nyungar descendants, be they Whadjuck, Balardong or Minang, are brought up to understand and take their responsibilities and place as active participants and custodians of such ancient and contemporary katitjin.28
In contemporary Nyungar societies of south WA, these concepts are still evident. Nyungar gerontocracies or boordier are still acknowledged as the custodians of katitjin and wisdom of one’s boodjar, moort and katitjin, and are responsible for their perpetuation through ongoing communications.29

The Nyungar Cosmology: Waakal or Nyungar Rainbow Serpent - Our Creator of the Trilogy

According to A P Elkin the Rainbow Snake or Serpent is always connected or associated with tracts of water in specific country. Elkin provides an insight into the power of the Rainbow Serpent’s connection to man through ritual he claims that ‘... man exert power. Coming with showers and storms, which fall from above on a thirsty land, the Rainbow Serpent is credited with a causative role in rain and depends on it’. 30 George Fletcher Moore, an early Swan River colonial, described the Waugal as:

An imaginary aquatic monster, residing in deep dark waters, and endowed with supernatural powers, which enable it to overpower and consume the natives... its supposed shape is that of a huge winged serpent. 31

Rainbow Serpents or Snakes are said to be powerful entities who have hold control over life and death and reside in deep rivers or water sources and protocols must be followed when anyone visits the abodes of the Rainbow Snake. 32 These yarns are clear examples of how the people are bonded historically with land or country in a cosmological and spiritual way.

Nyungar believe that the Waakal or Nyungar Rainbow Serpent is our Creator and Nyungar firmly believe that the Waakal is the giver of life because of its role in maintaining fresh water sources. According to Whadjuck/Balardong ‘Keeper of the Stories’ Pop Tom ‘Yelakitj’ Bennell:

There are two different sorts of carpet snake. If anybody ever see them, the old bush carpet, he got white marks on him. The old water carpet snake, he is purple and oh, he is pretty. He is purple. I saw them myself. I saw them, oh, up to fourteen or fifteen feet long, very pretty. But the old forest carpet snake, he is only just an ordinary old carpet snake. But the real water snake oh, he is pretty, that carpet snake. I don’t think too many people have seen him. They wouldn’t know he was a carpet snake, but he is a carpet snake all right, but the Nyungar call him Waakal. 33

Although Nyungar occupy their own boodjar, our cultural ideologies, language and social mores are based on the same tenets since kura, a long time ago. 34 Many histories or mythologies in oral stories are told and while the content of those stories changed with the narrator, the basic theory always depicted the Waakal as fundamental to Nyungar Cosmology as the starting point for our history. 35

In our Nyungar Cosmological theory, the Waakal is the Creator, the keeper of the fresh water sources. He gave us life and our trilogy of belief in the boodjar as our mother and nurturer of the Nyungar moort and our katitjin so that we could weave that intricate tapestry known as the ‘web of life’. This is the trilogy of our Nyungar theory and our stories reflect this belief of our history.

First in the trilogy of Nyungar theory: Boodjar (country or geography or land or place)

Nyungar boodjar lies in the south western corner of WA. It extends east of Esperance or Wudjari Nyungar boodjar moving in an arc to the north west close to the small wheatbelt town of Nyoongah in Njakinjaki Nyungar boodjar, west-north west towards Cooroow or Juat Nyungar boodjar, and south of Geraldton across to the west coast of WA. These are the general boundaries of the boodjar where all Nyungar have geographical and moort regional historical affiliations. 36

Second in the trilogy of Nyungar theory: Moort (family or relations)

For Nyungar, your moort is your family or your relations. The Waakal gave us the foundation of our law knowledge about kinship systems and how we relate to one another, for instance, who we could marry and what our obligations are to one another. As Nyungar descendents we suggest ‘nitcha ngulla Whadjuck un Pindjarup and Balardong Nyungar boodjar’. Interpreted into wedjela language, it says ‘this is our peoples’ ground’. The following story about Nyungar is told through the oral tradition of Whadjuck/Balardong boordier and ‘Keeper of the Stories’ Pop Tom ‘Yelakitj’ Bennell:

The old Nyungar, the tribal Nyungar they used to have their mob and travel in tribal mob. Your tribal mob would have been your moort that is the Nyungar name for ‘Relations’. Nyungar they used to call their yok when carrying doordajee doordajee. Now that means she is going to have a baby. Kooboorl, kooboorl, koombar kumbariny. That means the belly is getting big. 37

In Nyungar culture all koorlangkar or children born to Nyungar yorgka or women take their mother’s gnarnk gnoorp or bloodline. This is because ‘Nyoongar culture is matrilineal and our cultural identification is recognised through our mothers’ heritage, not our fathers’ affiliations. ’38 If a Nyungar knows who the child’s mother is or if the mother does not have a partner, the Nyungar always knows who the moort of that koorlangkar is and therefore knows who he/she belongs to.

In Nyungar moort theory, a Nyungar man might have had several yorgka or women/ wives and inherited many koorlangkar, and thus becomes the maaman or father, but through the birthmother of the koorlangkar their heritage is always ‘true’. Therefore, a koorlangkar knows who their ngarnk or mum is even if the maaman or dad is not the child’s own biological father.

Third in the trilogy of Nyungar theory: Katitjin (knowledge or law)

Nyungar wangkiny and the commitment to our knowledge are central to our history
and identity. In 1833, Lyon wrote:

[Nyungar] retain only those characteristics of man which it is impossible for him to lose, under any circumstances; namely, the power of language... The language of Derbal [of the Perth waters] seems to possess a great deal of originality. But there is something very peculiar in its construction; or, it is characterised by great irregularity in the declension of its nouns and conjugation of its verbs. In either case, to acquire it accurately, and commit it to writing correctly will be no easy task. 39

The katitjin given to Nyungar by the Waakal included all moort law or family rules of behaviour connected to our boodjar. The Waakal gave us our knowledge about the sacred sites such as Boyagin Rock, Mandikan, Karta Koomba, Pinjarra, Mundaring, Walwalyalup, Waakal Mia, and the Darbal Yiragan or estuary and our relationship to them.40 Waakal gave us our knowledge about Nyungar and our relationships, responsibilities and obligations to one another. The Rainbow Serpent gave us our katitjin of Nyungar law about the animals, plants, bush medicines, trees, rivers, waterholes, hills, gullies, the stars, moon, sun, rocks and seasons, and their interconnectedness in the web of life of the six seasons in the Nyungar world. 41

The Nyungar Rainbow Serpent also gave us our katitjin about wirrin or the spirits in our boodjar and wirrin and moort in the cycle of life. Some Nyungar people were given boolyada or magical powers to heal or kill and to protect all things sacred created by the Waakal. The Waakal also gave us our koorndarn or kaarnya – the fundamental and underlying principles that give all cultures their values and belief system or their ‘commonsense, respect and shame’. 42

In keeping with our Nyungar oral history tradition, wangkiny and katitjin, or language and knowledge are still shared by Nyungar maam and yorkga from our moort. The speakers are active participants in this style of doing history work and we are very grateful to our people and say ‘kaya noonar quopadar maar wangkiny ngulla katitj nitja’ or ‘yes, you are very good speakers and writers and we understand this’. The challenge for us today is to keep up our wangkiny and katitjin and to also put this into text as historical materials for public consumption. 43

Nyungar oral histories will continue ad infinitum and they will continue to be recorded by Nyungar, Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people alike. 44 Our oral and colonial text can both be utilised for doing Nyungar history work and will enable Nyungar to continue to have a profound influence on our generations to come and they will be the eternal link to Nyungar identity, heritage, culture and history.

Our stories, as handed down to us from the Nyungar oral historians and ‘Keepers of Stories’, whether they are from the Whadjuck, Balardong, Pindjarup or Wiilman language groups, and extracted from colonial text give testimony to the Nyungar Cosmology, the phenomena known as the Waakal; creator of the trilogy of boodjar, moort and katitjin. Our histories recorded or spoken reflect this belief in Nyungar history work. So we become the keepers of and thus makers of these oral and transcribed stories assimilated with colonial text to construct history and therefore take on our responsibilities of becoming custodians of such katitijin in the context of history work.
Pop Tom ‘Yelakitj’ Bennell, a Whadjuck/Balardong Nyungar boordier, recorded his thoughts on doing Nyungar history on his tape recorder in 1978. Pop said

... all the words that I am speaking now are blackfella’s own words. They’re exactly the same. They are same as white peoples’ words, say yes this and that, and all this, but Nyungar words are all coming through. All these tapes that I am doing now, if they’d like to write a book the same as a white person. What histories they’re writing in they books, well, these tapes I am doing now, could actually be all the same as anybody’s in Australia. 45

This paper is a short overview of the broader research that Nyungar historians have published. For those interested in reading about Nyungar history, language, culture and boodjar can go to our website: nyungar/.

Fremantle Studies Day, The Royal Western Australian Historical Society (Inc.), State History Conference of Affiliated Societies, September 2005


1 J Walley, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002.

2 J Sabbioni, ‘I Hate Working for White People’, Helcate, vol 12, no 2, 1993, pp 7-29; C Choo, Aboriginal Child Poverty, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne, 1990; M Langton, ‘Urbanising Aborigines: The Social Scientists’ Great Deception’, Social Alternatives, vol 2, no 2, 1981, pp 16-22; S Muecke, ‘Body, Inscription, Epistemology; Knowing Aboriginal Text’, E S Nelson (ed), In Connections: Essays in Black Literature, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1988, pp 41-52; I Keen, Being Black: Aboriginal Cultures in ‘Settled’ Australia, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1988; M Narogin, Writing From the Fringe, Hyland House, Melbourne, 1990.

3 R Eggington, Nyoongah Corroboree: In Unity and Strength, Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, Perth, 1991-93; T Bennell, Oral Interview 1978a & Transcript 2002, in possession of L Collard, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, Murdoch University, WA; T Bennell, Oral Interview 1978b & Transcript 2002, in possession of L Collard, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, Murdoch University, WA; F Collard, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002; J Walley, 2002; R Walley, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002; S Garlett, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002; M Gentle, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002; S J Hallam, ‘An Archaeological Survey of the Perth Area, Western Australia: A Progress Report on Art, Artefacts, Dates and Demography’, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Newsletter, 3, 1972, pp 11-19; J Hayden, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002; D Winmar, Oral Interview & Transcript 2002.

4 url:

5 F Armstrong, ‘Manners and Habits of the Aborigines of Western Australia’, Perth Gazette, 1836; C Berndt, ‘Women and “Outsiders”’, Aboriginal News, vol 1, no 4, 1973, pp 7-8; R D Cooper, ‘Battle of Pinjarra’, 1967, Battye Library, PR 6603; N Green, Nyungar – The People: Aboriginal Customs of the South West of Australia, Creative Research, North Perth, 1979.; J E Hammond, Winjan’s People: The Story of the South West Australian Aborigines, Hesperian Press, Perth, 1933; G F Moore, A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language in Common Use Amongst the Aborigines of Western Australia; with Copious Meanings, Embodying much Interesting Information Regarding the Habits, Manners and Customs of the Natives, and the Natural History of the Country, Orr, London, 1842; L Tilbrook, The First South Westerners: Aborigines of South Western Australia, Western Australian College of Advanced Education, Perth, 1983; L Tilbrook, ‘A Question of Access: Women, Marriage and Land Ownership in South western Australia’, Aboriginal History, vol 10, no 1-2, 1986, pp 99-116.

6 N Tindale, Aboriginal Tribes of Australia, University of California, Berkeley, 1974.

7 A Mountford & L Collard, Noongar-English Dictionary, Nidja Noongar Boodja Noonook Nyininy. (This is Noongar Country You are Sitting In), A Resource Package for Schools, Catholic Education Office of Western Australia, 2000.

8 J Davis, Kullark: The Dreamers, Currency Press, Sydney, 1982, p 144.

9 E Bennell, & A Thomas, Aboriginal Legends from the Bibulmun tribe, Rigby Publishers Limited, Australia & Hongkong, 1981, p 80.

10 J Arthur, Oxford Aboriginal English, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1996, p 223.

11 N Tindale, Aboriginal Tribes of Australia, 1974.

12 L Collard, ‘An Analysis of Nyungar Influence in South West Western Australia’, Masters Thesis, Murdoch University, Perth, 1996; R van den Berg, No Options No Choice! The Moore River Experience, Magabala Books, Broome, 1994; A Brewster, A O’Neill & R van den Berg (eds.), In Those Who Remain Will Always Remember: An Anthology of Aboriginal Writing, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2000.

13 P M Torres, ‘Magarra-gudany, The Devilman who has a Tail - A Yawuru Story’, In Those Who Remain Will Always Remember, 2000, pp 21-22.

14 A Chalariameri, ‘My Country Oomarri’, In Those Who Remain will Always Remember, 2000, pp 75-80.

15 D Mowaljarlai & J Malnic, Yorro Yorro: Everything Standing Up Alive, Magabala Books, Broome, Second Edition, 2001.

16 R van den Berg, Nyoongar People of Australia: Perspectives on Racism and Multiculturalism, Royal Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 2002.

17 Budget Macquarie Dictionary, Macquarie University, Melbourne, Third Edition, 1998, p 2.

18 H Arden, Dreamkeepers: A Spirit-Journey into Aboriginal Australia, Harper Collins, New York, 1994.

19 What is Aboriginality? Identity, Flinders University of South Australia, 2002, url: http://www., 14 November 2002.

20 D Oxenham, J Cameron, K Collard, P Dudgeon, D Garvey, M Kickett, T Kickett, J Roberts & J Whiteway (eds.), A Dialogue on Indigenous Identity: Warts ‘n’ All, Gunada Press, Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Perth, 1999, p 164.

21 What is Aboriginality? Identity, Flinders University of South Australia, 2002; D Oxenham, et al, A Dialogue on Indigenous Identity: Warts ‘n’ All, 1999, p 102.

22 N Tindale, Aboriginal Tribes of Australia, 1974; W Douglas, The Aboriginal Language of the South West of Australia, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1976.

23 L Collard, & D Palmer, Nidja Goorandalup! Noonookurt Nyinning Nyungar Boodjar: A Nyungar Interpretive History of the Use of Boodjar (Country) in the Vicinity of the University of Western Australia, Centre for Aboriginal Studies, University of Western Australia, Perth, 1998; R Winmar (Munyari), Walwalinj the Hill that Cries, Nyungar Language and Culture, Perth, 1996.

24 R Winmar, Walwalinj the Hill that Cries, 1996.

25 R Eggington, Nyoongah Corroboree: In Unity and Strength, 1991-1993; T Bennell, 1978a & b; F Collard, 2002; J Walley, 2002; R Walley, 2002; S Garlett, 2002; M Gentle, 2002; J Hayden, 2002; D Winmar, 2002.

26 Irrluma (Brown, A. Isaac), ‘An aspect of Nyungar World view of Knowledge’, B Harvey & S McGinty (eds), In Learning My Way, Institute of Applied Aboriginal Studies, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley Campus, 1988, pp 106-113.

27 T Bennell, 1978b.

28 url:

29 T Bennell (G Collard ed & comp), Kura, Nyungar Language Centre, Bunbury, Revised Edition, 1993; T Bennell, 1978a & b; F Collard, 2002; J Walley, 2002; R Walley, 2002; S Garlett, 2002; M Gentle, 2002; J
Hayden, 2002; D Winmar, 2002.

30 A P Elkin, The Australian Aborigines: How to Understand Them, Angus and Robertson, Australia, 1938, p 241 & pp 260-61.

31 G F Moore, A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language in Common Use Amongst the Aborigines of Western Australia; with Copious Meanings, Embodying much Interesting Information Regarding the Habits, Manners and Customs of the Natives, and the Natural History of the Country, Orr, London, 1842, p 75.

32 T Bennell, Kura, 1993; T Bennell, 1978a; S Garlett, 2002; J Hayden, 2002; D Winmar, 2002.

33 T Bennell, 1978b.

34 T Bennell, Kura, 1993; L Collard & D Palmer, Nidja Boodjar Binjarup Nyungar Kura, Yeye, Boorda, The Gcalyut Research and Training Project, South Metropolitan Youth Link, Fremantle, 1996.

35 T Bennell, Kura, 1993; T Bennell, 1978a & b; S Garlett, 2002; J Hayden, 2002; D Winmar, 2002.

36 Ngulak Ngarnk Nidja Boodja: Our Mother This Land, Centre for Indigenous History and the Arts, University of Western Australia, Perth, 2000; url:

37 T Bennell, 1978a.

38 S J Hallam & L Tilbrook (eds), Aborigines of the South West Region, 1829 -1840, The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, vol 8, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 1990; S J Hallam, ‘Aboriginal Women as Providers: The 1830s on the Swan’, Aboriginal History, vol 15, no 1, 1991, pp 38-53; R van den Berg, Nyoongar People of Australia, 2002, p xii.

39 R M Lyon, ‘A Glance at the Manners, and Language of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Western Australia; With a Short Vocabulary’, Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, vol 1, no 13, 30 March 1833.

40 S Garlett, 2002; P Vinnicombe, ‘Goonininup: A Site Complex on the Southern Side of Mount Eliza; An Historical Perspective of Land Use and Associations in the Old Swan Brewery Area’, West Australian Museum, Perth, 1989; Department of Indigenous Affairs - Aboriginal Heritage Page, Government of Western Australia, url:, 6 July 2002.

41 D Bates (I White ed), The Native Tribes of Western Australia, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1985; D Bates (P J Bridge ed), Aboriginal Perth Bibbulmun Biographies and Legends, Hesperian Press, Perth 1992; T Bennell, Kura, 1993; E. Bennell & A Thomas, Aboriginal Legends from the Bibulmun tribe, 1981; P Baines, ‘A Litany for Land’, I Keen, Being Black: Aboriginal Cultures in ‘Settled’ Australia, 1988, pp 227-249; D Winmar, 2002; E Kickett, The Trails of the Rainbow Serpents, Chatham Road Publications, Midland, WA, 1995; Swan River Trust - The Nyungar Landscape, 14 September 1998, url: publications/landscape/resource/nyungar.html, 2 March 2002.

42 T Bennell, Kura, 1993; E. Bennell & A Thomas, Aboriginal Legends from the Bibulmun tribe, 1981; P Baines, ‘A Litany for Land’, 1988, pp 227-249; D Winmar, 2002; E Kickett, The Trails of the Rainbow Serpents, 1995.

43 url:

44 D Oxenham, et al, A Dialogue on Indigenous Identity: Warts ‘n’ All, 1999; L Tilbrook, The First South Westerners, 1983; In Those Who Remain will Always Remember, 2000.

45 T Bennell, 1978b.

Garry Gillard | New: 30 October, 2017 | Now: 16 December, 2018