Tag Archive | "Aboriginal affairs"

Social engineering, Perth style

CHRIS THOMSON

A Perth City Council director is recommending that $500,000 be spent on demolishing and replacing a brick toilet block to deter Aboriginal people largely from the Kimberley and Pilbara regions from camping in Wellington Square.

In a report to his political masters, City Services Director, Gary Dunne, acknowledges Wellington Square has a long history as a meeting place for Aboriginal people.

“This pre dates European settlement when the area consisted of a chain of streams, swamps and lakes which were used as a source of food and water as well as a camping area by Aboriginal people,” Mr Dunne advises.

Pre colonisation, the Aboriginal people to whom Mr Dunne refers would mainly, if not exclusively, have been local Noongar people, not visitors from the Kimberley or Pilbara.

NEWCOMERS

Mr Dunne reports that regular complaints of antisocial behaviour in Wellington Square from apartment-dwelling newcomers to the area increase significantly during the warmer months of the year.

“In recent years there has been an increase in the development of residential apartments in East Perth and the surrounds of Wellington Square,” Mr Dunne reports.

“With the increase in residents living near Wellington Square there has been an increase of the number of complaints received.

“The complaints cover a range of antisocial behaviours include drinking alcohol in Wellington Square, fighting, trespassing on private property, leaving bodily waste in public and on private property, noise complaints and general harassment of passers- by and residents in their own property, sleeping rough in the park and constant litter of food packaging and bedding that has been provided by charitable organisations.”

Mr Dunne reports that: “the city has received two petitions and numerous complaints from residents about the antisocial behaviour they endure on a daily basis”.

LOCAL CLUBS OBJECT

Two local organisations who do not want the wrecking ball brought in are the Rotary Club of East Perth and the East Perth Cricket Club who use the block to store gear.

The Rotary club’s Mike Penny has told the council that “if the toilet/change rooms were to be demolished it would seriously impact on the future of our fundraising events as there would be nowhere to store all our items”.

“We would ask that the City of Perth seriously consider not demolishing the toilet/change rooms in Wellington Square,” Mr Penny has beseeched.

The East Perth Cricket Club uses two change rooms in the TARDIS-like building (pictured) as change rooms, and to store practice nets, a barbecue, fridge and chairs.

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Club president Sami Nayeem has told the city that bowling the dunny block will have a significant impact on the cricket club which would then have no shower or change room for the players, no storage for its cricket equipment, no shelter from the weather and no security for players’ bags and valuables during the cricket games.

“Wellington Square has a strong history of use as sporting venue and it would be sad if these facilities were demolished,” Mr Nayeem laments.

Mr Dunne advises that if: “the rooms were removed then there would be some significant inconvenience to the East Perth Cricket Club and the Rotary Club East Perth”.

“There is no immediate replacement storage that could be offered to the Rotary Club East Perth but they may be able to obtain some inexpensive storage elsewhere as the location on Wellington Square is not essential to their club,” he suggests.

Part of the $500,000 Mr Dunne has budgeted to bowl the block and replace it with a high-tech, self-cleaning toilet includes building a small storage room for the cricket club.

DIALYSIS BY ANALYSIS

State member for Perth, Eleni Evangel, herself a former Perth city councillor, has formed a Wellington Square Working Group.

In a letter to the council in October Ms Evangel declared: “it is important to note that the removal of the existing Wellington Square toilet block and its replacement with self-cleaning units at each end of the square was raised by workshop participants including Inspector Craig Parkin (WA Police), representatives from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and Citizen Advocates at Wellington Square group representative, Mr Greg Johnson”.

“This larger than average facility is viewed as a gathering place for park occupants and therefore a central source of problems,” Ms Evangel wrote.

The working group has noted that campers in the park are related to patients who travel to Perth kidney dialysis treatment at nearby Royal Perth Hospital.

In August last year, state health minister Kim Hames promised that renal dialysis services would be established closer to where patients live in regional Western Australia.

Dr Hames said that in the Kimberley region the government was arranging additional dialysis treatment facilities to care for an extra 44 patients a year by 2016/17. He promised that new facilities in the Pilbara would accommodate an extra 16 patients by September 2016.

Dr Hames noted that “this investment will reduce the number of people traveling to Perth from remote areas for dialysis, and thereby reducing the number of people likely to be frequenting Wellington Square”.

EXCREMENT, LITTER AND ART

Mr Dunne advises that Wellington Square and surrounding areas are often littered with bedding, leftover food and food containers distributed by not for profit groups.

He says that residents and businesses have complained about the “constant litter” and the city’s waste collection team has confirmed there is an increase of litter during the busy summer months.

Residents have also complained that excrement has been left around their properties.

In response, the city trialled leaving the toilets open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But business groups complained that leaving the toilets open encouraged campers to stay on Wellington Square.

The city then decided to close the toilets at 8.00pm and reopen them at 7.00am daily.

In her letter in October, Ms Evangel said: “The overnight closure of this toilet block recently implemented by the city is not viewed as a sufficient solution to the existing issues.”

She urged the council to replace the dunny block with two self-cleaning ones at the north and south of the park.

Ms Evangel also suggested that redesigning Wellington Square could: “provide an opportunity to better recognise the cultural significance of the area for Aboriginal people through a community art project or similar initiative”.

‘NO GUARANTEE’

Despite recommending that the block be bowled, Mr Dunne notes there is “no guarantee” the demolition will diminish antisocial activity in the area.

“This is a very large reserve and the removal of the toilets/change rooms may disperse some of the people from gathering on the Hill Street side of the reserve but again there would be no guarantee of this,” he explains.

“It is questionable exactly how beneficial the removal of the old toilets/change rooms, as requested by adjacent residents, the police and the Member for Perth, will be in reducing the antisocial behaviour of people who are mainly Aboriginal people from regional areas of the state who visit Perth for a range of reasons including medical treatment.”

A Perth city planning committee will consider Mr Dunne’s recommendation on January 27.

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Southwest world heritage push

STAFF REPORTER

A University of Western Australia biology professor has put world heritage listing of the state’s Southwest squarely on the political agenda.

Hans Lambers, from UWA’s School of Plant Biology, says he hopes his new book Plant Life on the Sandplains in Southwest Australia will pave the way for the region to be world heritage listed.

Professor Lambers, one of the world’s most highly cited plant scientists, said Western Australia’s Southwest was already recognised as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and deserved to be protected and celebrated.

Kwongan (or kwongkan) is a Noongar word for sand, but botanists now use the name for low vegetation that occurs over large areas of sand-plain in the Southwest.

“Kwongan … rainfall is low and soil very infertile but it contains a rich diversity of flora which supports a web of life that includes many species of birds and animals,” Professor Lambers said.

“WA’s region is similar to the sandplains of South Africa and Brazil where I have worked on collaborative research projects.

“The environments function in the same way but support different plant species and families.

Brazil locations have World Heritage listing and I see proud signs to that effect in every national park.

“I see what it does for the people of the region and the tourist industry and I am working towards achieving the same result for our Southwest.”

Professor Lambers said a World Heritage listing would not threaten mining or agriculture as most mining operations were not carried out in the sandplains.

“It can only be a good thing for the state because it will put WA on the map and make it more attractive for eco-tourism, without the State Government needing to spend any money,” he said.

If successful, the world heritage listing process was expected to take about two years, Professor Lambers said.

Professor Lambers’ book replaces Emeritus Professor John Pate’s earlier publication, Kwongan: Plant Life of the Sandplains.

Photo of Margaret River by Bram Souffreau, Wikimedia Commons.

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Lake theme for Yagan Square

STAFF REPORTER

A digital canopy inspired by the lake system that ran through the Perth CBD until the 1800s is one of the main design features of Perth’s newest public space, Yagan Square.

During the day, the canopy will provide shelter from the elements and in the evening it will become a spectacular lighting display depicting the area’s history.

The new square will include event spaces for up to 8500 people, an amphitheatre, fresh food market, children’s play area, native gardens, water feature, cycling centre, public art and a digital tower with the capability to broadcast real-time events.

Releasing the designs today, Premier Colin Barnett said Yagan Square would provide a unique Western Australian experience and a window into the local Noongar culture and traditions.

“Yagan Square will become a destination for people to meet and connect with the state’s heritage, environment and culture,” Mr Barnett said.

“Significant consultation with the community, including extensive engagement with the traditional owners, has contributed to the design.”

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Several elements incorporate stories from the Whadjuk Noongar people, exploring the themes of place, people, animals, birds and landscape. This will include tracks that represent the area’s history as a place for hunting and gathering.

Planning Minister John Day said Yagan Square would become the meeting place it once was with tens of thousands of people expected to move through the space every day.

The design includes a market as one of the biggest attractions, offering a range of fresh local produce and dining experiences.

Outside the market, a public plaza will provide a dynamic atmosphere day and night with pop-up retailers, food trucks, light projections and regular events.

The upper level includes an amphitheatre for public events, children’s play area, natural forest canopy and water feature.

The Horseshoe Bridge archways will be used for shops, cafes and a bike parking centre.

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Dodson to tackle deficit discourse

STAFF REPORTER

Western Australian academics Mick Dodson and Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis will lead new research to improve public discourse on Indigenous issues, and to safeguard the language of the people of the Western Desert.

Professor Dodson, of the Australian National University in Canberra, has secured $456,000 to examine deficit discourse, which frames Indigenous identity in a narrative of negativity and deficiency.

The research will examine how Indigenous school children are affected by deficit discourse.

Professor Dodson, pictured, said the grant was long overdue.

“We’ve wanted to look at this question of deficit discourse for some years now, he said.

“The aim is to see if we can improve the public discourse, and improve the outcomes for Indigenous school students.”

Research led by Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis, also of the ANU, to help revitalise endangered language styles of the Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra people of the Western Desert, has received $480,000.

Ms Ellis is a Ngaatjatjarra educator, interpreter and linguist from the Ngaanyatjarra region of Western Australia.

“The project … will be an investment in the heritage value of the world’s small endangered languages,” she said.

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Noongar name for Perth’s newest beach

CHRIS THOMSON

A Noongar name meaning ‘gull’ has been floated for Perth’s newest beach.

The City of Cockburn has proposed the name ‘Ngarkal Beach’ for the artificial stretch of sand at the shiny Port Coogee project in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Ngarkal Beach Port CoogeeActing City of Cockburn boss Daniel Arndt says consultation with Noongar community representatives has led to agreement on the name.

Mr Arndt says ‘Ngarkal’ is the Noongar word for gull.

He says Noongar people used to camp around Coogee, and the area around what is now Port Coogee known to them as ‘Seagull Camp’.

A oneperth.com.au visit to the beach this evening confirmed the presence of a Ngarkal or two.

The recognition of Noongar history is in vogue down Cockburn way where the design of the new Fremantle Dockers HQ purportedly draws upon a Noongar theme.

Mr Arndt says that, by flying between the coast and the islands, seabirds, especially Ngarkal, signify the spiritual link between Noongar country and spirits trapped on the islands and beneath the sea.

He says this is the story that will be captured through the Ngarkal Beach name.

The proposed Ngarkal Beach name is now out for public comment. Have your say here.

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‘Place brand needed’ for new Dockers HQ

CHRIS THOMSON

A final development application for the Dockers’ exodus from Fremantle to Cockburn Central asserts that “place branding” will be “important” for the transplanted footy HQ, plans of which draw on the area’s history as a Noongar meeting place.

The so-called Cockburn Regional Physical Activity and Education Centre comes up for approval by a state planning committee on Tuesday.

If the panel agrees to the $107 million centre, and the complex is built as planned, it will be erected between Beeliar Drive and North Lake Road and use to use by the summer of 2016/17.

And that means the Dockers and their birthplace of Fremantle Oval will part company forever.

Plans lodged on behalf of a consortium that includes the Dockers and the City of Cockburn claim that a”place branding strategy” will be “important” for the masssive complex.

Picking up on this, the consortium says the project has been inspired by the Noongar meeting place history of the nearby Beeliar lakes.

The lakes have been meeting places for Noongar people for tens of thousands of years. It is the role of the waterhole as a meeting place that the consortium claims is the basis for the design of the centre.

Changes in level, views, shelter from the elements and the integration of landscaping are all advanced as examples of this.

The outer suburban City of Cockburn – which has long pushed for the Dockers’ relocation – is urging the panel to approve the pictured plans on which the public has not been consulted.

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When the Dockers’ move was announced, residents and the council of inner-city Fremantle convened protests to stop the relocation.

But Cockburn council considers public consultation was not necessary because planning requirements for the greenfields project had been met.

Aside from a new training ground for the Dockers, the centre would house an outdoor Olympic pool, indoor 25-metre pool, learn-to-swim pool, gym, cafe, creche, two water slides, and a sports science offshoot of Curtin University.

Renders: Sandover Pinder + dwpsuters (Which we think is architect-speak for some kind of merged firm)

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Noongar name for Rockingham road

STAFF REPORTER

A new road in central Rockingham has been given a Noongar name relating to the city’s well-known fairy penguins.

The new 4.5 kilometre road linking Kwinana Freeway to Rockingham city centre has been named Kulija Road, after advice was received by UWA Indigenous studies lecturer Leonard Collard.

Professor Collard said kulija means ‘in relation to the penguin, the one that is linked to and travels about this site’.

He said he believed the word kulija was a blend of the words kul (meaning movement) and nija (this) and that perhaps the Noongar people who lived in the area for thousands of years used the word to describe the penguin tracks.

Costing almost $20 million, Kulija Road was opened to traffic recently and honours the city’s mascot, the little (or fairy) penguin.

The smallest of all penguins, and the only species living permanently in Australian waters, little Penguins are only 33cm tall and weigh about 1kg.

They generally remain faithful to their mates and produce two broods of chicks in years when there is enough food.

The new road provides a direct route from Kwinana Freeway to the Rockingham City Centre, Garden Island and the Kwinana industrial strip.

Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels said the little penguin was a well-known and widely recognised symbol of the city, and using the Noongar name was an ideal way to link the area’s Aboriginal history with its contemporary image.

Professor Collard has been investigating place names around Perth and Western Australia’s Southwest region where more than half of the place names are Noongar.

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WA leader joins council of nation’s best uni

STAFF REPORTER

Western Australian Aboriginal leader Patrick Dodson is one of four new members appointed to the governing council of Australia’s best university.

Professor Dodson (pictured, left), a Yawuru man from Broome and regarded as the father of Australian reconciliation, is one of the nation’s most prominent Indigenous leaders.

“It is a great opportunity to be associated with a great university that has contributed immensely to this nation and no doubt will continue to do so in the fields of research and learning,” Professor Dodson said of his appointment to the governing council of the Australian National University.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of the challenges we face as a nation and ensure our young people are resourced for the future.”

Aside from Professor Dodson the new members are distinguished molecular biologist Professor Suzanne Cory AC (second from left), banker and refugee worker Naomi Flutter (second from right), and the newly elected President of the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students’ Association Ben Niles (right).

“Patrick Dodson, Suzanne Cory and Naomi Flutter are outstanding Australians and ANU is really privileged to have such a pool of talent and experience joining us,” said ANU Chancellor Gareth Evans (pictured, centre).

“We have a fantastic spread of talent and a really serious commitment to the institution.”

In international university rankings, the ANU usually tops the nation.

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Death of a northern town

CHRIS THOMSON

The troubled Kimberley settlement of Oombulgurri will soon become landfill with the Department of Housing issuing a demolition tender for 45 houses, several car bodies, much of the town’s school and its basketball court.

In 2008, then State Coroner Alastair Hope investigated five deaths in the Aboriginal community, four of which were suicides, and found Oombulgurri to be in a “state of crisis”.

With suicide, sexual abuse and violence under the spotlight at Oombulgurri, Western Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier in 2011 announced the settlement would be shut down, saying the measure would ensure community safety and financial propriety.

Late last year, members of the community reportedly opposed the demolition plans, arguing that many of the buildings were still in good nick.

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The vast majority of residents have now left Oombulgurri, which is 45 kilometres from Wyndham. But buildings and structures remain (as pictured), including many houses, the community’s basketball court and school.

Several school buildings, 45 houses, and the basketball court are set to be bowled. The buildings’ remains, along with several abandoned car and truck bodies, will be dumped in landfill.

Only a handful of historic and other buildings, including the town’s old church structure and cemetery, will remain.

The front doors of houses earmarked for demolition have been spray-canned by authorities with big, red encircled numbers.

Anyone who needs support or information about suicide prevention can phone the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Balga toffs slam Noongar centre

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Ten objectors have slammed a Noongar community centre planned for the northern Perth suburb of Balga.

The Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Community Group is planning a centre where Aboriginal language, art and craft classes, adult literacy and numeracy training, healthy living workshops, traditional dancing, story-telling, bush cooking, bush medicine, native plant cultivation, and cultural exchanges with non-Noongar people are planned.

The City of Stirling has granted the group a lease over the former Warriapendi pre-primary school site (pictured) on Finchley Crescent, and the group has lodged an application to use the site as a centre.

However, four of the 10 objectors have claimed the centre will see Balga property values plummet.

Balga has a large number of Homeswest houses and remains a much-maligned suburb. For the record, oneperth.com.au reckons Balga is a great place.

Two of the objectors claim the planned centre will lessen diversity in the cosmopolitan suburb.

“The development will not support a varied community and will drastically effect the social makeup of the Balga area,” one of those objectors contends.

The other objector opines that the centre will limit the “demographic which can make use of a local government centre”.

Another objector explains their complaint “is about the peaceful and happy living conditions to Balga residents during the functioning of this organisation and once they are in operation, as well as the potential long term effects of existing residents”.

Balga is a Noongar word meaning grass tree and was chosen as the name for the suburb when it was developed in the mid 1950s. Wadjak Noongar people are the traditional owners of Perth and have been living in and around Balga for tens of thousands of years.

Of the 11 submissions lodged, only one supported the planned centre by:

  • arguing it is well sited near a primary and a high school that have significant numbers of Aboriginal students; and
  • suggesting that neighbours be invited to the official opening.

Despite the 10 objections, City of Stirling planners have recommended the centre be given the green light.

The planners advise that the bulk of objections cannot be sustained on town planning grounds.

A city committee will debate the planners’ recommendation on Tuesday night.

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Stolen generation art comes home

STAFF REPORTER

Paintings and drawings produced by Noongar children who were part of Australia’s stolen generations have returned to Western Australia after being housed for decades in New York.

New York Liberal Arts college, Colgate University, announced today that it would transfer 119 paintings and drawings to Curtin University.

Carrolup artistsThe art, some of which is pictured, was produced between 1945 and 1951 at the Carrolup Native School and settlement in the great southern region of Western Australia.

A painting, Hunting, by Reynold Hart, was today presented to Curtin to symbolise the future transfer of the full collection.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Jeanette Hacket saidshe was grateful that Colgate saw “the deep and enduring value in returning the art to Noongar country”.

The Noongar art pieces were given to Colgate in 1966 by alumnus Herbert Mayer, a well-known New York City collector.

He had bought the works from Florence Rutter who had provided money to Carrolup School and its children.

The art depicts landscape and bush scenes, animals, hunting, and traditional Noongar cultural activities.

The genre has influenced the work of several well-known contemporary Australian artists.

Carrolup artistsThe collection is the focus of joint study between Curtin and Colgate.

Over the past eight years, many Colgate students, under the guidance of Professor Ellen Percy Kraly, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Geography, have travelled to Western Australia to visit the Mungart Boodja Art Centre and the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University to learn about Noongar art and culture in the region.

CEO of the Ktanning-based Mungart Boodja organisation, Ezzard Flowers, said his community was pleased to see the historic art returned to its country of origin.

“It is a time for celebration in Noongar country and in Western Australia,” Mr Flowers said.

“We are very grateful to our friends at Colgate who understand how much this means to us.”

 

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Nyungar leaders pan royal names

KEN HOLMES AND CHRIS THOMSON

The choice of royal names for the massive Perth Waterfront and City Link projects has been panned by Nyungar leaders who say local Aboriginal names should have been used instead.

In May, Premier Colin Barnett named the waterfront project ‘Elizabeth Quay’ after Queen Elizabeth II who had visited Perth in 2011 for the much-hyped Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

On the other side of the CBD at the Perth City Link project, two major components – King’s Square and Queen’s Square – also derive their names from the British monarchy.

The director of Curtin University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Simon Forrest, says the names are a missed opportunity for reconciliation and for promoting a truly local identity.

“It would have been an ideal opportunity to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and give residents the chance to learn about local language and culture,” Associate Professor Forrest said.

“It seems to be encouraging a colonial mentality with names focusing on royals.

“It stops us developing our own local identity when we keep turning to foreign monarchs for our place names.”

Associate Professor Forrest said it was not out of disrespect for the queen that he disagreed with the names.

“It would simply be a chance to pick up the pieces and give indigenous people a sense of identity in the city,” he said.

“Although many people may dismiss it as ‘just a name’ it holds special significance, particularly if those names represent a domineering time in Australian history.

“What you are seeing in places like Africa is a shift to names with a local touch.

“No-one is turning to the United Kingdom or France for their identities.”

The trend is taking off elsewhere in Perth – in the City of Vincent – where a plan was this year hatched to co-badge Weld Square as ‘Wongi Park’.

Nyungar elder Richard Wilkes says the Waterfront and link projects should have celebrated the original Nyungar names for their areas, or been named after Nyungar people who were prominent at the time of colonisation.

“The government needs to give recognition to the natives of this area,” Mr Wilkes said.

“We don’t see the royal place names as appropriate to this area.

“There’s no shortage of Nyungar names that reflect the original culture of this land.”

Mr Wilkes took time out to give oneperth.com.au a lesson in Nyungar geography.

“Where Elizabeth Quay is going in, that is what we call ‘Gabbee Darbal’,” he said.

‘Gabbee Darbal’ loosely translates to ‘fresh water’, and Elizabeth Quay is near where the first colonists found fresh water in central Perth.

Mr Wilkes said the Nyungar name of the adjacent area around Barrack Street Jetty is ‘Kooyamulyup’.

‘Koolya’ refers to the sound of a “big-nosed frog with green and brown markings over their bodies” that was once common in the area. ‘Mulyup’ means that when the frog croaks it “puts its nose in the air”.

Mr Wilkes said the area around the Perth City Link has, since time immemorial, been known as ‘Goodbroo’.

“It must be a good place, that’s all I can say,” he quipped when asked the meaning of that name.

On announcing the Elizabeth Quay name in May, Mr Barnett said it would be a fitting tribute to the queen’s CHOGM visit.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority – which is in charge of the Quay and Link projects – said the King’s Square and Queen’s Square names were chosen because of the Link’s proximity to King and Queen Street in the CBD.

“The names were selected based on the streets which will meet the new squares in the master plan,” the spokeswoman said.

“It is obviously still in the early development phases and the names are subject to change as development proceeds.”

Despite this, the MRA website, and billboards surrounding the Link project heavily promote the King’s Square and Queen’s Square names.

** The spelling of ‘Nyungar’ used here is the spelling Mr Wilkes prefers. **

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Tributes for young Noongar leader

CHRIS THOMSON

Tributes flowed in ahead of today’s funeral for a young woman who died just weeks after becoming the first Noongar to be employed as a dentist.

Chantel Rose Thorn (pictured, 28) died at Alice Springs Hospital on March 17 after suffering what her father and Noongar elder Leonard said was a massive heart attack.

The heart attack was caused by a blood clot in Dr Thorn’s leg.

Mr Thorn told oneperth.com.au that his daughter had been a “bubbly girl”.

“She befriended everybody especially people who needed some help in their lives,” he said.

“Anyone who met her fell in love with her instantly.

“She had an infectious laugh – you could hear her laugh before she entered the room.”

The funeral occurred at Fremantle Cemetery today – just two months after Dr Thorn started work as a dentist in the nation’s red centre.

In Alice Springs, Dr Thorn was set to work with small Aboriginal communities and schools as both a dentist and health promoter.

She was the first Noongar, and only the second Aboriginal person, to become a dentist in Western Australia.

Mr Thorn said his daughter was also the first Aboriginal woman from anywhere in Australia to become a dentist.

She had been a Rotary scholar and active participant at the group’s Booragoon club.

The club’s most recent newsletter describes Dr Thorn as a quiet, determined achiever.

“On her visits to Rotary Club Booragoon as speaker and guest, Chantel charmed and impressed us all with her quiet intelligence, her preparedness to take on very daunting challenges and her dedication to using her skills and knowledge to help overcome some of the dreadful health disadvantages of her people,” the newsletter reads.

“The sadness we all feel, and the sympathy for her family and friends, is compounded by the terrible tragedy of the loss of a young person who had so much to offer her community and all Australia.”

Dr Thorn is survived by her parents Leonard and Gail, partner Joshua, sisters Latricia and Terrylene, brother-in-law William, and nieces and nephews Kyana, Billy, Tiama, Heath, Kyle, Jacqukitta, Whitney and Sha’kyra.

An obituary written by Dr Thorn’s family reads as follows:

“We remember your smile, the things you would say.

We treasured the hours we spent everyday,

The laughs we had, the secrets we shared,

The love you gave, the way you cared.

You left a place no one could fill, we miss you Chantel and always will.

Life goes on we know it’s true, but not the same without you.”

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Gopher rider charged over sly grog

STAFF REPORTER

A 71-year-old gopher rider, and a 56-year-old taxi driver, have been charged after allegedly supplying ‘sly grog’ to Aboriginal people in Broome early yesterday morning.

Inspector Shayne Atkins of the Kimberley District Office said an operation was initiated after information was received from the Broome community about liquor issues and anti social behaviour.

Police allege that about 6:00am a 71-year-old man riding his gopher (mobility scooter) on the Male Oval approached several groups of Aboriginal people and sold them a bottle of wine for $20.

Police intervened and the man was charged with unlawfully supplying liquor.

Police also allege that about 7:55am, a 56-year-old taxi driver was seen dropping off a group of Aboriginal people near the Broome Tourist Bureau who were carrying a 30 can block of beer.

Inquiries revealed the taxi driver had allegedly supplied them with the beer for $150.

A search of his taxi allegedly located another 30-can block of and eight bottles of wine.

The liquor was seized and the man was charged with the unlawful sale of liquor and with carrying liquor for the purpose of sale.

Both men will be summonsed to court at a later date.

Photo: ‘Phasmatisnox’, Wikimedia Commons.

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