City of Armadale

Images of Armadale
Saturday, 25 October 2014

About Armadale

Traditional Land Ownership

The area now known as the City of Armadale was originally occupied by the Noongar Aborigines many thousands of years before European settlement.

The Noongar people were close to the land. Their survival depended on a thorough understanding of the environment and the plants and creatures in it.

This knowledge came from the mythical 'Dreaming', a period when:

  • All things began,
  • When all the laws of Aboriginal society were established,
  • When the people learned the foods they could eat and the things that must not be touched; when they discovered an interdependence with their surroundings - an invisible chain that linked people and the environment.

This form of religion and philosophy made the Noongar inseparable from the land. Any change in the environment meant a change in the lifestyle of the people.

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Noongar land

The territory of the Noongar people was the triangle of Western Australia's south-west extending from the Geraldton district south to Cape Leeuwin, continuing south-east almost to Esperance and then in a line north-west to rejoin the coast at Geraldton.

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The Noongar way of life

In the southwest corner, the climate was generous to the Noongar people.

They lived on the coastline in the drier months, eating the food supplied by the lakes, which were filled during the rains.

Just before the onset of winter, the people would move to drier inland areas following the kangaroos and emus, setting up shelters wherever food was plentiful.

There is little information about the area now known as the City of Armadale, but we know that Noongar tribal elders were responsible for specific areas.

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Elders' territory

The map identifies place names and territories described by Yagan (an Aboriginal Elder) to Robert Lyon in 1832. As shown on the map, the area to the north and east of the Canning River was part of Beeloo Munday's territory and the area to the south and west of the Canning was Beeliar Midgeggorro's territory.

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Local place names

The Noongar name for Kelmscott is Goolamrup, and the Canning River is known as Dyarlgaroo (from Broken Spears: Green: 1984).

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