Noongar Water Knowledge in the Djarlgarro Beeliar catchment

Implications for land use and water planning

The Swan (Derbarl Yerrigan) and Canning (Djarlgarro Beeliar) Rivers, their tributaries and the many wetlands that cover the Swan Coastal Plain are a fundamental biophysical component of the Perth’s environment, and have an immense cultural value and meaning.

Noongar Knowledge can guide the planning and management of this environment, and provide a holistic foundation to the spatially partitioned, administrative boundary-based approach in which lands and waters are often locally and regionally managed.

Noongar knowledge has been gathered over the decades in the scope of multiple studies, but is scattered across organisations and not easily accessible. Our project aims to:

  1. Gather & map Noongar water knowledge for a study area in the catchment of the Canning River;
  2. Understand how such knowledge can be made available, in a culturally appropriate way, to guide land use and water planning in Perth.

This project has been taking shape since 2018, was informed by much respected Noongar leaders, and has received the support from various stakeholder organisations that care for the Perth region. In June 2020, the project officially started, with the employment of two Noongar researchers, Gail Barrow and Sharon Wood-Kenney, who will co-lead and co-conduct the project.

The UWA-CAUL Noongar Water Knowledge Project team at the UWA School of Biological Sciences. From left to right, Cristina Ramalho, Sharon Wood-Kenney and Gail Barrow.
















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