Noongar focus for heritage weekend

Nat King Cole was in Perth in 1956 and met with members of the Coolbaroo Club who presented him with a boomerang.
Circus WA explores Uglieland, a charitage fun park run by the Ugly Men Association which raised money for disadvantaged kids.
The Chung Wah Association opens their house (left) for the first time for a Heritage Weekend, marking 111 years since the foundation stone was laid. 
It took more than 10 years to raise the funds and build St George’s Cathedral (above), but sadly it’s designer didn’t live long enough to see his “good, plain Gothic building. 

HERITAGE PERTH WEEKEND is back across April 16 to 18 with a new focus on Noongar history.

Now in its 11th year, Perth council’s weekend of exploring notable buildings and sites has been co-named Boorloo Kwedjang Bardip Yanginy, meaning Perth Old Story Sharing.

Lord mayor Basil Zempilas said in a statement: “With the guidance of the City of Perth Elders Advisory Group, the Bridyas, we have introduced dual naming for this event to reflect the importance of the cultural heritage of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people,” and he hopes the events will make for a better understanding of shared history.

Elder Uncle Farley Garlett said “my culture, Nyoongar Culture, is about stories – stories told to our children who learn our lore and culture. 

“For our youth, it is about guiding them along in life. 

“Our family is an extended family where we all come together, sit down, tell stories and share.”

Among the 133 events this year are:

• Yokai Healing at Wellington Square on April 18, the long-time site for Sorry Day, with stories from survivors and families of the stolen generation;

•  A Coolbaroo Dance at Perth Town Hall on April 17 at 6pm, harking back to an old tradition that was popular at the Coolbaroo Club when Aboriginal people weren’t allowed in the CBD without permission. Coolbaroo means magpie in Yamatji and the black and white bird represents races coming together;

• Fireside Yarning at Matta Gerup (Heirisson Island), with Bridyas telling their stories on Friday night;

•  A tour of East Perth’s forgotten history April 17 and 18. Well-liked walking tour group Two Feet and a Heartbeat lead a guided talk through the old colonial cemeteries, the lost Chinese cemetery, and the hidden Jewish cemetery;

• Chung Wah holds an open house, participating for the first time in a Heritage Weekend. It’s 111 years since the Chung Wah Association’s foundation stone was laid;

• Former Heritage Perth director Richard Offen returns to the public eye for a talk on Perth’s oldest buildings on Saturday at the City of Perth library, telling the stories of their construction and the people who built them.

Like previous years there’s also many tours of iconic buildings, but they’re popular and always fill up so book via visitperth.com/heritageperthweekend

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