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02
Feb
2021

Desecration of site significant to traditional Indigenous owners

Summary

Booryeembara Ocean Reef

DevelopmentWA have started the next lot of clearing for the northern breakwall of the Ocean Reef Marina.

An appeal under Section 9 of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act has been lodged to stop the desecration of this significant site.

The development site is rich in bush tucker, medicine, close to a walk out abalone reef, has thick bushes for shelter along with caves, it has fresh water, stones for use in milling, skinning animals, preparing kangaroo hides.

¬†Aboriginal people have a story for every rock. At Ocean Reef the limestone cliffs were known as Booryeembara. They were created by camping of the Noongar people’s main spirit the Waugal, The Waugal created the life giving waterways which the Noongar people respected deeply. At Ocean Reef the flow of the Gnangara Mound meets the salt water of the ocean. Noongar people would not take from a gnamma hole and allow it to dry out. There are many gnamma holes on the development site which is why the area was abundant in wildlife and supplemented the fresh water from the nearby spring.

It was thought by camping near a Booryeembara, the Noongar people would be impowered with the strength of the Waugal.

The high cliffs and dunes allowed the Noongar people to spot shoals of fish and bush animals to hunt.

This site reflects the traditional seasonal movement patterns of Aboriginal groups to the coast in summer.