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Mandjoogoordap – ‘meeting place of the heart’ and Karnup – ‘place of the Milkmaids flowers’. These are just two of the 14 Noongar Place Names and meanings recently identified in Stage 1 of METRONET’s Noongar Place Names Initiative in Western Australia.
The Initiative is part of the METRONET Gnarla Biddi (Our Pathways) Strategy and helps to acknowledge the traditional and ongoing connection of Noongar people to Country, as well as celebrate Noongar language across METRONET’s program of works.
Each identified Noongar place name will be incorporated into new stations across METRONET projects through opportunities in public art, architecture, landscaping, structural design, materials and finishes and interpretative signage.
As Gnarla Biddi Strategy Lead Brenton Turner explains, the names provide education to community about the spiritual significance, cultural practices, native animals and endemic plant species to each local area.
“By acknowledging Noongar place names across our projects and looking at opportunities to integrate them into each new station, we are recognizing and celebrating the special relationships between the people, country and language,” he said.
Noongar consultants were engaged to help identify the appropriate place names and their meanings by reviewing existing information and consulting with Elders on the METRONET Noongar Reference Group. Where appropriate, these place names were then confirmed with local community groups.
Noongar is the official language of the Aboriginal people of the south-west of WA and means ‘a person of the south-west of Western Australia’. There are 14 different dialects in the Noongar language.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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