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Editorial NAIDOC Week

Posted on 24 June by Lakeside Joondalup

Local Indigenous themes for NAIDOC Week

Celebrate NAIDOC Week with seven local Indigenous & cultural themes about the surrounding area of Joondalup.

International Year of Indigenous Language

The United Nations has declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) identifies approximately 250 Australian languages and approximately 800 dialects that were spoken in 1788. Today only 13 languages are spoken by sufficient young people to sustain them into the future and a further 100 languages are spoken by only a handful of older adults.


Djiridji - Zamia Palm
The Zamia Palm, or Djiridji, is part of the City of Joondalup logo. In March, the ripe red seeds, or Boyoo, would be harvested by Noongars. The seeds are highly toxic, so would be left in running water then buried under ground for weeks, before the outer shell was removed, cooked and eaten.

Balga - Grass Tree
The grass tree had many uses. Different parts of the plant were used for tools, nectar could be eaten and could also be used medicinally,

Yanjit, Waakul or Baat (according to region and variety) - Water Rushes
There are a number of varieties of water rushes and reeds around Lake Joondalup. The rhizomes or tubers were a food source and leaves would be used to make nets to catch djildjit (fish) and yakan (turtle).

Wonnil - Peppermint tree
Women would make their Wonna, or digging stick, from the branches. The digging stick would be about 6 feet long, roughly the same thickness as a broom handle, was pointed on one end and flattened on the other and fired for hardness. Each woman made her own Wonna, carried it with her everywhere and was even buried with it.


Ducks – Yerderap
There are 10 different duck species known at Lake Joondalup: Blue-billed duck; Musk duck; Pacific Black duck; Australian Wood duck; Australasian Shoveler; Gray Teal duck; Chestnut Teal duck; Pink-Eared duck; Maned duck and the Hardhead duck, the only true species of diving duck endemic to Australia.

Australian Raven - Waardong and Western Long-billed Corella - Manatj
Both found in the Yellagonga Regional Park, these birds represent the 2 moieties, or kinship groups of the Noongar Nation. For Noongars, the moieties are traced through their mother (matrilineal) and they could not marry someone from their own kinship group.

Hunting & Gathering by the 6 Seasons

Across Australia, Aboriginal hunting and food-gathering practices were dictated by the cycle of the seasons. In south-western Australia the year was generally separated into 6 seasons: Birak (December - January), Bunuru (February - March), Djerin (April - May), Makaru (June - July), Djilba (Agust - September) and Kambarang (October - November).


It’s said that Yellagonga was born around 1780. He would have been 49yrs old when the first colonists arrived in WA. Yellagonga lived until 10th June 1843, at peace with the colonists, apparently respected by them and known by them as ‘The King of Perth’. He fell from a rock on the bank of the Swan River and drowned.

Bibulmun Yorga and Neil Hawkins Park

Situated only a short stroll from the Lakeside Joondalup is the picturesque Neil Hawkins Park. The park contains a life-size bronze sculpture of an Aboriginal woman and her dingo, representing the traditional owners of the Joondalup region. The woman is a Bibbulman Yorga. The Bibulman people came from the hills country to the north and their name is derived from the word Bibby.

bibulman yorga

Swamp Hen at Lake Joondalup

In 1990, the City of Wanneroo commissioned three artists to make work about the area that was to become Joondalup. Sally Morgan was one of those artists and she responded to the lake and its birdlife, creating a silkscreen print called 'Swamp Hen' at Lake Joondalup. Sally's family was part of the Stolen Generation and she grew up in Perth, unaware of her Aboriginal heritage. Until the age of 15 she was led to believe that she was of Indian descent.


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