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Whadjuk Noongar Influence

Segment: Whadjuk Noongar Influence
Presenter: Christina Morrissy
TX Date: 6th January 2019

Named after a famous Noongar leader, Yagan Square is the new heart of Perth, designed to unite the city not just physically but to connect it emotionally, using food, art and stories.

  • The statue of the Aboriginal man in the middle of Yagan Square is often mistaken for Yagan himself, but this is not the case. It is actually a statue of Wirin, which is the spirit of the place.
  • There is a lot of culture and cultural narrative in Yagan Square - the canopies are shaped like the original lakes of the area, and the digital tower represents the swamp with its reeds on top, as well as the water tower that the trains used to stop and fill up from.
  • When Yagan Square was being designed, Richard Walley was brought in to tell the original stories of the area. Originally, this location was a meeting ground, a place where people would share food, which is what still happens in the area today.
  • Karen Jacobs from the Whadjuk Working Party knows that it is important to hear from Aboriginal people about the significance and value of the area. Even before there were any buildings this was a popular location, with people occupying it on an almost permanent basis.
  • Everyone takes the stories of Yagan Square seriously, with everyone from the shop owners to the security guards knowing them. It is important that everyone working at Yagan Square understands the values of the area and just how they reflect on the environment before construction.
  • Yagan Square is a destination that keeps on giving, a unique space that is reflective of both culture and history.

www.mra.wa.gov.au/projects-and-places/yagan-square

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