Cultural Mapping and Management of the Middle Gairdner River

Cultural Mapping and Management of the Middle Gairdner River. Photo Keith Bradby

Fabulous day at Jerramungup today celebrating the completion of the ‘Cultural Mapping and Management of the Middle Gairdner River’ project and the launch of the associated Cultural Heritage Action Plan. The Yarramoup Aboriginal Corporation undertook this project with support and involvement of other local Noongar Elders, the Nowanup Rangers, Applied Archaeology Australia, Gondwana Link and the University of Western Australia. Thanks to State NRM for project funding.

What is cultural mapping I hear you say. Well it is a lot more than walking along a transect with head down identifying artefacts! It is a process of coming together to learn and understand Traditional Owner’s connection to their boodja (land) and how to look after it. It involves being together on country, sharing stories, knowledge and memories, seeing special places, and learning how communities used and responded to place. It is getting the feel of different places and being open to subtle queues. In this project cultural mapping was achieved by walking, exploring, yarning (especially around the fire), camping, and cooking together, creating paintings of the landscape and undertaking some land management tasks such as cleaning gnammas, removing weeds and river bank stabilisation. The cultural mapping work informed the Cultural Heritage Action Plan which includes a suite of actions for caring for the mid-section of the Gairdner River.

I consider myself very blessed to have been out with the team one day. The landscape was brought to life through stories of life on the land, learning the use of different plants and getting the feel of some mighty spiritual places.

Well done everyone. Team photo by Keith Bradby.


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