Skip to main content

Wanjoo Nidja Walyalup

30 June 2021

We acknowledge the Whadjuk people as the Traditional Owners of the greater Fremantle / Walyalup area and we recognise that the cultural and heritage beliefs are still important today. 

Wanjoo nidja Walyalup – Whadjuk Land, welcome this is Fremantle.

In the Nyoongar language the Fremantle area is called Walyalup–meaning place of the Walyo or Woylie, a small brush-tailed bettong or kangaroo rat.

The local Whadjuk people, part of the larger Nyoongar Aboriginal nation in the south west of Western Australia, have a connection to country that dates back over 50,000 years.

Manjaree is the name Whadjuk people gave to the area around Fremantle, near the limestone hill at Arthur Head and Bathers Beach. In the local Whadjuk dialect it translates to ‘fair exchange’.

The Manjaree Trail, starting near Kidogo Arthouse, explains Nyoongar seasons, bush tucker, trade, and other customs relevant to Manjaree.

Sites along this trail are of tremendous importance to the Whadjuk people as they were places where valuable items were traded, families gathered for kinship and law making, and where young men and women who had 'come of age' met their future husbands and wives.

While some of the sacred meeting places in and around Walyalup look very different in the present day, they still hold significance for local Whadjuk people.

To learn more about aboriginal culture, visit the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) on Captains Lane in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. The centre showcases aboriginal art, culture and history and runs programs to coincide with the six Nyoongar seasons.

Wardarnji at Fremantle Arts Centre
Photo by Tegan Court
Smoking ceremony captured by Tegan Court
One Day
One Day event in Fremantle
Aerial view of Fremantle
Aerial view of Fremantle
Opening of Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Opening of Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre