Latest News & Events
First phase of iconic rivers' trails project completed
The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC), in partnership with the Perth Region Natural Resources Management (NRM), has facilitated consultations with the Noongar community over the last 18 months for their input into the first phase of the Iconic Trails project. The project is being managed by the Swan River Trust, and the first phase was initiated to incorporate Noongar values into a network of trails along the Derbal Yerrigan and Djarlgarro Beelier (the Swan and Canning Rivers) highlighting Noongar heritage sites. The project will ultimately incorporate European, Noongar, and natural heritage sites and trails along the banks of the rivers through interpretive signs. SWALSC would like to thank the Noongar Elders for their invaluable knowledge, time, and participation in the project. The following documents relating to the first phase of the project have now been published. Final Report; Executive Summary Report; and Consultation Protocol Guidelines.
Kim Scott wins Commonwealth book prize
The book’s title refers to a Noongar dance mimicking the military drill of Matthew Flinders’ marines, recorded a century later by Daisy Bates. In an interview with Susan Wyndham, Literary Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Kim expressed his surprise that he was the first Aboriginal author to win this prize, “it bothers me a bit ... Indigenous Australians have always been storytellers”. This is Kim’s third novel, and it is described by Susan Wyndam as a lyrical dramatisation of history which shows that Aboriginals weren’t always victims of colonisation but also appropriated language, stories, songs and behaviour from Europeans. Kim’s second novel, Benang, was co-winner of the Miles Franklin Award in 2000. Kim is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald interview as saying that he changed his approach in the third novel “to show that there are other possibilities in our history that we can build on”. Kim will now go forward with other regional prize winners for the overall Commonwealth prize which will be announced on May 21. Link to Commonwealth Foundation. Link to Sydney Morning Herald report
Noongar 'Young Guns' Leadership program to be funded by Lotterywest
SWALSC Book shortlisted for Human Rights Commission award
The book about the history of the Noongar native title claims has just been shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Human Rights Commission Non-Fiction Literature award. Download the full press release
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The SWALSC 2010 Annual Report has just been published and is now available on the SWALSC website.
SWALSC book wins research prize
The book about the history of the single Noongar claim "It's still in my heart, this is my country" has won the 2010 Margaret Medcalf Award for excellence in research... See below
National Native Title Tribunal sets up web page for the south west
The National Native Tribunal has set up a section on their web page aimed at providing information about the progress of the Noongar native title claim negotiations. Visit their site
SWALSC collection priceless
A recent study by eminent local historians has found that SWALSC holds one of the most comprehensive collections on Noongar language, culture and history in Australia... Read More
Kaartdijin Noongar - Sharing Noongar Culture
SWALSC has recently received grants for a two year project to document and share Noongar culture with the Noongar community and beyond, through web sites accessible from the SWALSC home page
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There are two main parts to this project. One part aims to encourage Noongars to share cultural and historical information with Noongars. This part of the project has been partly funded by Lotterywest and the federal Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. To visit the new web site click the following link: Kaartdijin Noongar web site
The other part of the project (funded by Lotterywest) aims to provide authoritative information about Noongar history and culture with the wider community. The new web sites will include themes relating to local history, people, and country, and will be illustrated using photos, oral histories, video, language recordings, and more.
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Much of the material will come from SWALSC's collection, but the project team, which includes Ann Hunter, Heritage Manager, Denise Cook, Research Officer, Melanie Hall, Research Officer, and Brendan Moore, GIS Officer, are keen to hear from members of the Noongar community who might like to share photos, video, or other information.
For more details about the project please call SWALSC on 9358 7400.
Swan and Canning Iconic River Trails Project
Do you have any stories or yarns from the past or present about the Swan or Canning rivers? We are asking Noongar people to share their knowledge of the rivers as part of a project... Read More
The Noongar Dialogue Report, February 2010
The Noongar Dialogue brought together Noongar leaders from many different fields for an ongoing conversation about how Noongar people could take another step towards taking more control over their own destiny by sharing ideas and learning from each other... Download here
State Government signs historic framework agreement with SWALSC
On 17 December 2009 the State Government signed a Heads of Agreement with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council aimed at resolving the six Noongar native title claims... Read More
History of the Single Noongar Claim
Swan and Canning Rivers Iconic Trails Project
Do you have any stories or yarns from the past or present about the Swan or Canning rivers? We are asking Noongar people to share their knowledge of the rivers as part of a project aimed at researching and documenting Noongar and European and natural heritage values of the rivers. Perth Region Natural Resource Management (NRM) and SWALSC have been asked to conduct stage 1 of the project which involves consultation with the Noongar community.
Stage 2 of the project will develop a plan for the interpretation of the various heritage values, and stage 3 will involve the physical development of a set of trails being established along the riverbanks. The project will acknowledge Noongar places and people, and will enable Noongar people to define how the significant places along the banks of the rivers should be interpreted.
A wide range of stakeholders are involved in this project including Swan River Trust, National Trust of Australia (WA), Landcorp, WA Planning Commission, landholders, Noongar communities, City of Perth, City of Armadale, C21, the Committee for Perth, Department of Indigenous Affairs. Stage 1 of the project is funded by a grant from Lotterywest.
If you have any stories or knowledge to share about Noongar historical, contemporary, spiritual, or physical connections to the Swan or Canninmg rivers, or you would like to know more about this exciting project please contact Marissa Verma on 9358 7406 or mobile 0448 987 787, or Barry McGuire on 9374 3333 or mobile 0466 744 946.
State Government signs historic framework agreement with SWALSC
To negotiate settlement and recognition of the Noongar native title over Perth and the south west of WA On 17 December 2009 the State Government signed a Heads of Agreement with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council aimed at resolving the six Noongar native title claims over Perth and the south west of WA by negotiation rather than by slow and costly legal action, which has been running in the federal court for 12 years.
The negotiations are expected to take up to two years to complete, and will cover a wide range of issues including recognition of the traditional ownership of Noongar land, a range of health and education programs, and possible joint management of some national parks, as well as other initiatives aimed at strengthening Noongar culture, and community self-determination.
The signing took place at Parliament House and was witnessed by Noongar Elders, SWALSC Directors, and supporters of a negotiated settlement. Chairperson, Graeme Miniter, and CEO, Glen Kelly signed on behalf of SWALSC (in its capacity as the Native Title Representative Body representing the traditional owners), and Mr Graham Mischin MP signed for Attorney General, Mr Christian Porter, on behalf of the WA government.
History of Single Noongar Claim wins research excellence prize
The book telling the story of the Single Noongar Claim has won the 2010 Margaret Medcalf Award recognising work that showed excellence in using State Archives. The WA Minister for Culture and the Arts, Mr John Day, said at the award presentation on 19 May that “the judges felt this book had the potential to alter the path of historical Aboriginal research and that the work has led to a paradigm shift in the way Aboriginal culture and identity are defined and understood.
In October 2009 SWALSC launched the book: "IT'S STILL IN MY HEART, THIS IS MY COUNTRY" The Single Noongar Claim History, which is a history of the Noongar people and their survival. The book is based on the history report prepared by John Host and Chris Owen that was tendered as expert evidence in the Single Noongar Claim.
The book's title comes from the evidence of Noongar elder, Angus Wallam, sworn before the federal court. In this book, and in the original report to the court on which the book is based, SWALSC sought to challenge existing versions of history and the related anthropology about Noongar people.
Published by University of WA Publishing, it is available at the UWA bookshop (rrp $39.95). SWALSC members can order the book directly from SWALSC for $36 (including postage). For details call SWALSC on 9358 7400 or send an email to: email@example.com
SWALSC Collection Priceless
A study by eminent historians has recently found that "SWALSC holds what the assessors believe to be the most comprehensive collection on Noongar language, culture and history of any comparable facility in Australia". While much of the material, which has been collected over many years to further the native title aspirations of the Noongar people, is confidential, the assessors suggest that SWALSC should establish policies to further develop the collection, and consider providing limited access where appropriate. The assessors stated that the "heart and soul" of the collection were the oral history interviews recorded between 1980 and 2009.
These interviews with about 180 people contain information about Noongar law, culture, history, and language, and act to preserve voice and story-telling styles. Other highlights are the comprehensive and unique collection of genealogies, research files, historical databases and about 3,000 photographs taken on field trips and at cultural events. The study was funded by a community heritage grant from the National Library, and the assessment was undertaken by Dr Mary Anne Jebb and Dr Malcolm Allbrook. SWALSC Research Officer, Denise Cook, has recently submitted a subsequent grant application to undertake a further study on the best way to preserve the collection.
Extensive 2010 Program of Meetings in the South West and Metro
SWALSC is this year conducting an extensive series of more than 50 native title related meetings across the south west and metro areas. These include working party, family, community, future act, Board, and general meetings and workshops.
Between March and June 2010 SWALSC is also conducting an extensive series of information meetings relating to the forthcoming negotiations with the WA Government aimed at resolving the Noongar native title claims over Perth and the south west. Click here to view or download SWALSC's schedule of Information Meetings relating to the forthcoming negotiations with the WA Government. View SWALSC's schedule of meetings.
Expressions of interest
SWALSC has called for expressions of interest from members of the Ballardong, Gnaala Karla Booja, Metro, South West Boojarah, Wagyl Kaip/Southern Noongar, and Yued Claim Groups for positions on the Agreement in Principle negotiation team. The negotiation team will ultimately include two members from each claim group. The deadline for expressions of interest for the Yued Claim Group was 26 March 2010. The deadline for the other claim groups was 16 April 2010.
Yued Native Title Claim Group Negotiating Team Members
View or download details of the Yued call for expressions of Interest.
Ballardong, Gnaala Karla Booja, Metro, South West Boojarah, Wagyl Kaip/Southern Noongar and Yued Native Title Claim Group Negotiating Team Members
View or download details of the call for expressions of interest for the other claim group positions on the Agreement in principle negotiation team.
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