About the project

This project was funded by Coastwest to Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, with support from the City of Cockburn as the coastal manager.

Aims of the project are…

  • Present Aboriginal values and knowledge about living on the coast, or Wardan Gepa Boodjaralup, to the wider community 
  • Highlight Aboriginal principles of sustainability and understandings of the history and uses of the coast 
  • Provide an Aboriginal contribution to local and regional coastal planning and strategic development
  • Build capacity to link the local Nyungar dreamtime narratives with new approaches to research, education and training in order to support joint coastal management

Partners for this project are…

  • Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute conducted the research
  • Centre for Aboriginal Studies provided additional input
  • City of Cockburn and the City of Cockburn's Aboriginal Reference Group helped steer the project
  • Coastwest funded the project. ‘Coastwest - Helping communities to care for the Western Australian coast. Coastwest is a State Government initiative aimed at providing opportunities for Western Australians to learn about, conserve and protect our coast.’

The key researchers on this project are…

Professor Len Collard, ARC Research Fellow Indigenous, School of Indigenous Studies (University of Western Australia) is a Whadjuk/Balardong Nyungar and traditional owner of the Perth region and surrounding districts whose ground-breaking theoretical work has put Nyungar cultural research on the local, national and international stage. He has a background in literature and communications and his research interests are in the area of Aboriginal studies, including Nyungar interpretive histories and Nyungar theoretical and practical research models.

Associate Professor Laura Stocker teaches and researches at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. She is also Deputy Leader of the CSIRO funded Coastal Collaboration Cluster. A marine ecologist by training, Laura established Australia’s first course in sustainability in 1989, focusing on the interaction among social, economic, cultural and ecological fields. Her research projects relate to: coastal adaptation to climate change; enhancing the knowledge-governance dialogue for coastal management; participatory sustainability mapping using Google Earth; the role of art in sense of place and sustainability; and Indigenous coastal sustainability.

Angela Rooney is a Research Associate at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute. Her research explores Nyungar language through the investigation of themes of revolving around placename meanings, mapping and connection to country. Born in the Southwest of Western Australia, she experienced an adventurous outdoor childhood roaming around the local area of Pibelmen. Since that time, she has built a professional work career spaning the UK, France and Singapore. A cartographer by training, she also has a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Studies.

We would like to thank…

Gary Burke for all his help and input to this project.
The respondents: Trevor Walley, Karen Jacobs, and Noel 'Kyar' Morrison
The artists: Jenny Dawson, Marilyn 'Bindaarn' Garlett, Sandra Hill, Noel 'Kyar' Morrison, Christopher Pease, Shane Pickett (late) and Lenard 'Yoorn' Thorne
Local governments: City of Cockburn, City of Fremantle, City of Rockingham, Town of Kwinana
Critical friends: Clint Bracknell, Neville Green, Dave Palmer

Photo Len Collard
Curtin University logo Coastwest logo CSIRO Coastal Cluster City of Cockburn University of Western Australia