Aboriginal heritage signs upgraded

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Mayor Tracey Roberts and deputy mayor Natalie Sangalli with members of the City of Wanneroo’s reconciliation action plan working group.

TO commemorate the theme of National Reconciliation Week Aboriginal heritage signage at Kahana Park in Butler will be upgraded.

City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the Aboriginal heritage signage at Kahana Park included information about the black cockatoo, which fed off the banksias during the summer and autumn months.

Western grey kangaroos are still found there.

Kangaroos were once a valuable source of food and the tribes also used the ‘roo skins for clothing and instruments.

If there were kangaroos there it usually meant water and food were there.

The tribes would dig for grubs and water, which, when unearthed, were a valuable source of nutrition.

The carpet python and southern brown bandicoot have been sighted in areas where low heath and shrub communities thrive.

Like the Kangaroo, the bandicoot was a food source for Aboriginal people and its skin was used to provide warm coverings and for making tools.

The threatened ecological species in the area are very rare. There are unusual types of melaleuca and shrubs along the limestone ridges and scattered heath species.

These unique plants are of ecological importance and in need of special protection.

Pigface is a native plant to Australia and is commonly found in coastal sand regions.

It grows best in spring and summer.

Traditionally, pigface was a source of food.

Its fruit is similar to dried fig and it could be eaten fresh or stored for future use.

The fruit contains a number of smooth, light brown seeds which fall from the plant when ripe.

The juice of the leaves can be used to relieve pain from insect bites.

The Balga tree was an important resource of shelter.

It offered warmth and food for the local Noongar people who populated these lands for thousands of years.

Bardi grubs and native bees both live in the Balga tree.

The bardi grub could be eaten raw or cooked and was a very popular food.

The native bees are attracted by the long flowering stem of the Balga tree.

The spear stem of the Balga tree had many uses.

The soft white flesh of the spears provided a refreshing food source.

The stem was also used for making shelter from the winds and rain, as well as being used for camp fires.

Aboriginal people respected the Balga tree for its many important uses and children were taught not to break or interfere with the stems when they were green.

Resin extracted from the stump of the Balga tree was applied as an adhesive for making tools and implements, which aided in hunting and gathering techniques.

The interpretive signage trail highlights the Aboriginal and environmental aspects of Kahana Park, ensuring its historical significance is retained for future generations.

The signage includes information about local flora and fauna and the gnamma holes that exist within the park, which hold special cultural significance for local Aboriginal people.

Along the limestone ridge in the park, are a number of gnamma holes, which provided local Aboriginal groups with a valuable source of fresh water.

The limestone ridge is the highest point in the region and was a location from which local Aboriginal groups could send smoke signals to communicate with surrounding tribes.

The ridge was also used as a lookout point that enabled groups to see the direction of travel ahead.

The interpretive signage trail was a l community art project undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal representatives from the Bibbulmun Tribe, Satterley Property Group and students from Irene McCormack College, Butler Primary School and Brighton Catholic Primary School.