Shaping the water’s edge
Water is a life source. Notice the native plants and animals around this pond. Can you hear their sounds?
This area was once part of the large system of freshwater lakes across Perth. The Cultural Centre and train station formed part of the shore of Lake Kingsford.
Water sources and wetlands sustained Noongar Whadjuk people for generations:
For thousands of years, my old people used to rely on the wetlands, freshwater springs and ochre pits that surround the area where the Museum stands today. When food was abundant, Nyoongar people gathered to share in the rich and diverse plant and animal resources, practice their Lore and cultural rituals and catch up with family and friends.
Brett Nannup, 2001.
The freshwater lakes are also connected to the Waugul who travelled all around the South West creating the land and the waterways. Elder May McGuire describes the presence of the Waugul’s in the river, “Old fella is there he lives there” (May McGuire 2020).
The water's edge has been shaped and changed over many years by human intervention. Water sources were drained (from 1833) by colonists. They drained Lake Kingsford to make way for the Swan River Colony.
Early European maps show how colonists drew lines across Lake Kingsford and divided the land into many different allotments, beginning European change of this landscape.
In recent years artificial/ human made ponds like this one have been returned to wetlands spaces.
Compare the space today to the photograph. Why do you think this it has been transformed into a wetland?
Spend some time exploring the wetland. What types of plants and animals do you see?