The following article was submitted to Roleybushcare by John Snowden, Department of Environment and Conservation Nature Conservation Officer, Perth Hills District. (Information about Canning National Park is highlighted in orange)

New names for hills parks reflect Aboriginal heritage

Thursday, 07 August 2008
Note: this is an archived article, and kept for historical purposes.

Indigenous heritage in the Perth hills has been celebrated with the announcement of Aboriginal names for seven parks throughout the region.
The four regional parks and three national parks were given interim names after being identified in the State Government's Protecting Our Old-growth Forests policy in 2001, and Forest Management Plan in 2004.
Environment Minister David Templeman today joined the traditional owners at a naming ceremony.

"It is appropriate that we reflect the culture and heritage of Aboriginal ancestors when naming these areas which have been set aside because of their natural beauty and diversity," Mr Templeman said.

"The new names were selected after an extensive consultation process which included the Darling Range Community Advisory Committee, Aboriginal language specialists, the local government authorities of Swan, Mundaring, Kalamunda, Gosnells, Armadale and Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Aboriginal groups and individuals.

Ref: DEC

"Aboriginal elders who were consulted expressed a strong preference for the park names to recognise Nyoongar individuals and peoples who were present at the time of European settlement.

"Consequently, the names for the new parks have strong links to the local areas."

The new park names are:

• Wooroloo Regional Park (formerly Chidlow Regional Park);

• Mundy Regional Park (formerly Kalamunda Regional Park);

• Banyowla Regional Park (formerly Kelmscott-Martin Regional Park);

• Beelu National Park (formerly Mundaring National Park);

• Korung National Park (formerly Pickering Brook National Park); and

• Midgegooroo National Park (formerly Canning National Park).

Today's naming ceremony also confirmed the name for Wungong Regional Park.

The Minister said the new names would not replace existing names of individual reserves within the parks.

"Names for other new parks and reserves created under the Protecting Our Old-growth Forests policy will be determined through an appropriate consultation process with key stakeholders and Aboriginal representatives," he said.

Background notes on the Aboriginal park names are attached.

Minister's office - 9220 5050


WOOROLOO REGIONAL PARK  (formerly Chidlow Regional Park) (pronounced woo-roh-loo)

Wooroloo is an Aboriginal word first recorded in 1841 when a town site to be named Worriloo was surveyed. Other spellings of Worrilow and Warriloo are also recorded, but by the 1890s the Wooroloo spelling was commonly used.

It is also believed that the name was derived from the Aboriginal word 'Worrilow', which referred to certain pools along the Wooroloo Brook.

The Department of Environment and Conservation was advised by one of the Aboriginal elders consulted during the park naming process that Wooroloo is a Nyoongar word for ‘come back again' or ‘you will return'.

A railway stopping place named Wooroloo was established in 1897 and a government town site of this name declared in 1913.

Wooroloo Regional Park includes the following reserves:

• Keaginine Nature Reserve
• Beechina Nature Reserve
• Beechina North Nature Reserve
• Leschenaultia Conservation Park
• Brookside Park (Shire of Mundaring)
• Falls Park (Shire of Mundaring)
• Yennerdin Park (Shire of Mundaring)
• Milligan Park (Shire of Mundaring)
• Lake Leschenaultia (Shire of Mundaring)

MUNDY REGIONAL PARK (formerly Kalamunda Regional Park) (pronounced mun-dee)

Mundy (or Munday) was a leader of the Beelu (or Beeloo) people at the time of European settlement. The Beelu people occupied a district that was generally bound by the Helena, Swan and Canning Rivers.

In the early days of European settlement, Munday was one of the most important and successful negotiators for Perth's Wajuk community.

A wetland located against the north-eastern perimeter fence of Perth Airport, south-west of King Road and west of the Forrestfield and Kewdale railway yards, is named Munday Swamp. The Beelu people hunted tortoises in the Munday Swamp area, carrying them to higher ground to the east for cooking and eating.

Mundy is the spelling used by the elders consulted during the park naming process.

Lesmurdie Falls National Park is in Mundy Regional Park.

BANYOWLA REGIONAL PARK (formerly Kelmscott-Martin Regional Park) (pronounced ban-yow-la)

Banyowla was a Nyoongar elder at the time of European settlement. The territory marked by a line from Mangles Bay to the Darling Range was the land of the group headed by Banyowla. This area was said to extend south of the Beeliar district and included the banks of the Murray River.

Banyowla's people in Pinjarra were closely related and shared cultural links with the Beelu people moving between areas to celebrate festivals.The history of Banyowla's people is linked with the name of Ellis, a soldier recognised by the naming of Ellis Brook in the Martin area. Ellis was involved in the Pinjarra battle.

          The following reserves are in Banyowla Regional Park:

• Ellis Brook Valley
• Hardinge Park (City of Gosnells)
• Hillside Farm (City of Gosnells)
• Lloyd Hughes Park (City of Armadale)

WUNGONG REGIONAL PARK (pronounced won-gong)

The townsite of Wungong was proclaimed in March 1909 and was named after the nearby Wungong Brook. The course of this brook was first traced by Alfred Hillman in January 1835.

The southern part of the park covers the existing Wungong Valley.

The following reserves are in Wungong Regional Park:

• Jarrahdale State Forest (part)
• Wungong Valley
• Churchman's Bushland
• Armadale Settlers Common (Shire of Armadale)
• Bungendore Park (Shire of Armadale)

BEELU NATIONAL PARK (formerly Mundaring National Park) pronounced beel-u

The Beelu people were present at the time of European settlement and their district was generally bounded by the Helena, Swan and Canning Rivers. The area was Mundy's territory at the time of settlement in 1829. The Beelu (or river peoples) had winter camps in the Mundaring and Kalamunda hills.

The name Beelu (or Beeloo) is related to the Nyoongar name for river or stream. The Beeloo Whadjug Nyoongar were also known as the Nectar or Mungyt people of the Perth hills.

This name Beelu was identified as being appropriate for this park, as several water courses and springs, such as the Helena River and its many tributaries, that run through this area.

The area where Mundaring Weir stands today was an important meeting place for Nyoongar families.

KORUNG NATIONAL PARK (formerly Pickering Brook National Park) (pronounced ko-rung)

DEC was advised by one of the elders consulted that Korung was a Nyoongar elder and warrior around the time of settlement.

Korung is the spelling Richard Wilkes used in his book about Perth's early years as a colony.

MIDGEGOOROO NATIONAL PARK (previously referred to as Canning National Park) (pronounced midj-ee-gor-oo)

Midgegooroo (date of birth unknown, died 22 May 1833) was a Nyoongar elder of the Beeliar people at the time of European settlement in 1829.

Midgegooroo played a key role in indigenous resistance to white settlement in the Perth area. Best known as the father of Yagan, Midgegooroo was executed by white settlers in 1833.

At the time of settlement, Midgegooroo was an old man and a senior authority in his family group. He had two wives and four sons, Yagan, Narral, Billy and Willim.

Midgegooroo's family had customary land usage rights over a large area of what is now southern metropolitan Perth, and were able to move freely about an even larger area, presumably due to kinship ties with neighbours.

Ref: DEC

         Reserves in Midgegooroo National Park that Roleybushcare is involved in dieback treatment are:

  • Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve