Renaming/Dual Naming of Places and Country

For all Noongar people our language is central to our identity; all throughout the southwest of Western Australia there are Noongar place names, significant sites and landmarks. These connect us to our sense of place and give us a sense of belonging. The “language of the land” (Noongar place names and their meanings) connects all Noongar to their cultural heritage. The language also tells us if a place is sacred such as Waugal Mia (the Waugal Hill), Garrungup (name of the Waugal cave and meaning “place of anger”), and the language can tell us where we can and cannot go, it tells us where food resources are such as Karrakatta which means place of the crabs. Mandyuranup – Point Resolution ‘a place to catch fish’.

Blackwall Reach is known as Jenalup – place where the feet make a track, Whadjuk Nyoongar acknowledge Cantonment Hill as Dwerda Weeardinup (the place of the Dingo Spirit) and Rocky Bay is the location of the Waugal Cave where it resides. Nyoongar say it is a “sacred’ rock, it is the resting place of the Waugal.

Any project should acknowledge that Noongar language and their meanings is a very important consideration when undertaking projects that require knowledge and interpretation of places, placenames and meanings and stories when it incorporates “the first language” in this case the language of the Noongar people. This is why Moodjar Consultancy uses a research approach that is rigorous in its methodology. Moodjar Consultancy applies the appropriate research tools to meet the stated objectives of the investigation.

Moodjar Consulting has a unique methodology for identifying Noongar place names that involves three stages such as Start-up, engagement with the local noongar community via workshops and Reporting the findings with our client.

The purpose of these workshops is to educate and empower the public in the following:

  • the need for non-Aboriginal people to learn more about the contribution made to history by Australia’s Indigenous peoples within the South-West of Western Australia;

  • the importance of Western Australia’s Indigenous peoples to identify, record and write their own histories of people and Country; and

  • redress the void in the identification, recording and writing of Australian Indigenous histories;

These workshops will ensure that a robust and respectful process is followed for all proposed Noongar place names.


Moodjar Consultancy will work collaboratively with our clients and will interrogate the Noongar language, identify the meaning and/or meanings of the word and/or name or names and make recommendations for the priority project placenames for our clients.


Some of our recent projects include:

Boodjar Nyungar Placenames - Western Australian Website

This project was the result of consultation with various state authorities and community groups and recognises:

• the need for non-Aboriginal people to learn more about the contribution made to history by Australia’s Indigenous peoples within the South-West of Western Australia;

• the importance of Western Australia’s Indigenous peoples to identify, record and write their own histories of people and Country.
This Boodjar Nyungar Placenames project begins to redress the void in the identification, recording and writing of Australian Indigenous histories.

More information about Boodjar Nyungar Placenames can be viewed here 

Community Arts Network Placenames

Place Names is a five year program aimed at engaging communities across Noongar country and beyond in the Aboriginal stories, language and culture of each place. The project is an initiative based on Len Collard’s long term research. CAN’s federally funded initiative aims to explore the meaning of towns and places with Noongar names, bringing them to life through film and art and encourage the use of the Noongar words for places that were used pre-colonisation.


More information can be viewed here

Noongarpedia Project

Noongarpedia is a collaborative project to add Noongar language content to Wikimedia projects and to improve all languages' content relating to Noongar topics. It is being driven by an Australian Research Council project from the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, in collaboration with Wikimedia Australia. The goal of the project is to establish a Nyungar language Wikipedia. Len Collard was one of the Chief Investigators and boordier (leaders) of this project.


More information can be viewed here

METRONET

Moodjar Consultancy and METRONET are currently undertaking work to identify appropriate Noongar names and/ or their meanings for the railway stations in the Perth metropolitan area. This is a large project that is in conjunction with the METRONET Noongar Reference Group (MNRG).