Solid contributors

Aunty Theresa Walley. Photo by Eva Fernández, City of Perth Cultural Collections

THE legacy of Perth’s Moorditj Bridyas (Solid Bosses) is commemorated in portraits in a new exhibition at the ground floor of Perth Council House, and their oral histories stories have been recorded for a new podcast.

The portraits by photographer Eva Fernández were commissioned by Perth council as part of its reconciliation commitment. They depict 10 elders from the council’s Elders Advisory Group, who’ve guided the city on projects like the Wellington Square redevelopment, the town hall centenary celebration, artwork commissions and Noongar names for places.

One of the elders, Uncle Farley Garlett, said it was important that elders were recognised for the progress they’d made with the City of Perth. 

“The elders’ portraits recognise the hard work we have done – to document and leave a legacy of the elders that have worked here,” he said. 

“The portraits tell our people and other people that there was a relationship going on between City of Perth and Whadjuk elders.”

Aunty Margaret Culbong said: “It is all about telling our stories and leaving a legacy behind. My elders have been around for many years and they’ve taught me many things.

“Working with my elders has given me the confidence to go forward, to set a pathway for generations to come so that our lore and culture can last another 40,000 to 50,000 years.”

The Moorditj Bridyas portraits launch at Council House in Naidoc week, running 8am to 5pm on weekdays from November 10 to January 29, and will be on the big screens at Perth library, Northbridge Piazza and Yagan Square.

The elders’ stories “Wongi mi bardup” (Doing it Our Way) are recorded in the November 10 episode of “Untold Stories of Perth” podcast via any of the podcast apps.

The photographed elders are Aunty Theresa Walley, Aunty Doolan Eatts, Uncle Ben Taylor, Aunty Margaret Culbong, Aunty Muriel Bowie, Uncle Walter Eatts, Uncle Farley Garlett, Aunty Irene McNamara, Uncle Albert McNamara and Uncle Noel Nannup.

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