Bindjareb Boodja

The world's oldest living culture

WANDJOO WANDJOO BINDJAREB NYUNGAR BOODJA
Welcome to Bindjareb Nyungar Country

The first people to the region were the Bindjareb people of the Nyungar Nation and it was given its name Pinjarra - meaning “place of swamp”. With the river ways being so rich with fish and other food stock, every year many Nyungar people from surrounding areas (Perth, Brookton, Pingelly, Bunbury and Collie) would come to Pinjarra to share harvest bringing daadja (meat) and other goods for exchange and attend Nyungar Nation meetings sometimes staying months on end.The local Bindjareb people, part of the larger Nyungar Nation, have been its custodian for over 60,000 years.

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CULTURAL TOURS

Bindjareb Park is a nature sanctuary led by Karrie-Anne Kearing, Traditional Owner and Keeper of Knowledge who has dedicated her life to raising awareness and keeping the Nyungar culture alive.  Bindjareb Park is home to a number of wildlife including the rare bird species, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, and traditional plants.

Enjoy a guided tour and walk through the bushlands and learn about traditional uses of plants, watch films of local history and taste traditional bush tucker.  Tours of the Pinjarra Massacre Site can also be booked through Bindjareb Park.

 

A REVERED TOTEM

Known to the Noongar people as ‘Karrak’, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo numbers have dramatically declined over the years due to the development of forests and woodlands, competition for nest hollows with native and exotic species and the impact of fire.

Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on the tail that gives the species its name. They are seed eaters and cavity nesters and are usually found in eucalyptus woodlands, or along water courses and they depend on trees with fairly large diameters.

There are three subspecies of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo in Western Australia. Only the south-western population referred to as naso (due to its large bill) is listed as Vulnerable.

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BACK TO PINJARRA DAY

Each year since 1991, the community unite on the banks of the Murray River at the Pinjarra Massacre Memorial for its annual Back to Pinjarra Day which commemorates the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre and pays respects to fallen ancestors.

The day of spiritual healing is led and guided by the local aboriginal people and proudly supported by the Shire of Murray and includes a range of cultural activities including welcome to country, smoking ceremony, traditional food tasting, storytelling through the art of dance and music by the Bindjareb Middars, digeridoo competitions and much more.

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BINDJAREB PARK

Bindjareb Park is a nature sanctuary led by Karrie-Anne Kearing, Traditional Owner and Keeper of Knowledge who has dedicated her life to raising awareness and keeping the Nyungar culture alive.  Bindjareb Park is home to a number of wildlife including the rare bird species, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, and traditional plants.

Enjoy a guided tour and walk through the bushlands and learn about traditional uses of plants, watch films of local history and taste traditional bush tucker.

Tours of the Pinjarra Massacre Site can also be booked through Bindjareb Park

A REVERED TOTEM

Known to the Noongar people as ‘Kaarak’, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo numbers have dramatically declined over the years due to the development of forests and woodlands, competition for nest hollows with native and exotic species and the impact of fire.

Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on the tail that gives the species its name. They are seed eaters and cavity nesters and are usually found in eucalyptus woodlands, or along water courses and they depend on trees with fairly large diameters.

There are three subspecies of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo in Western Australia. Only the south-western population referred to as naso (due to its large bill) is listed as Vulnerable.

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BACK TO PINJARRA DAY

Each year since 1991, the community unite on the banks of the Murray River at the Pinjarra Massacre Memorial for its annual Back to Pinjarra Day which commemorates the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre and pays respects to fallen ancestors.

The day of spiritual healing is led and guided by the local aboriginal people and proudly supported by the Shire of Murray and includes a range of cultural activities including welcome to country, smoking ceremony, traditional food tasting, storytelling through the art of dance and music by the Bindjareb Middars, digeridoo competitions and much more.

The Pinjarra Massacre

In 1827, Captain James Stirling established the Swan River colony which we know today as Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Not long after this, a settler by the name of Thomas Peel received a land grant and establish a colony in Pinjarra in Bindjareb Nyungar Boodja and along the Murray River. There was an uneasy peace between the Bilyidar Bindjareb Nyungars and the settlers and misunderstandings and incidents between the Bindjareb people and settlers became regular and often escalated to violence.

A resistance leader named Calyute from the Bindjareb people began leading raids across the south west area and in March 1834, led 30 tribesmen in an attack on a flour mill to secure flour as the flour rations which were previously been given to the Bindjareb Nyungars became restricted. A few days after the raid, Calyute and two other natives were arrested over the incident which saw Calyute sentenced to 6 weeks in prison and 60 lashes.

Unrest between the Bindjareb people and settlers coming to a tragic head on 28 October 1834, which events is known today as the Pinjarra Massacre and one of the most notorious events incidents in Aboriginal history.  A party from Peel Town, today being Mandurah, set out on the afternoon of the 27th of October 1834 and headed east from the Peel Town settlement along the banks of the Peel Estuary towards Pinjarra. The party of settlers took up camp for the night on the bank of the Murray River, just upstream from where the Ravenswood Bridge now stands and made their way through the swampy terrain between their camp and Pinjarra the following morning.

A large group of Nyungars were camped on the Murray River with the camp being void of the tribe’s men with the attack being largely on an innocent and defenceless group. It is said that many of the Bindjareb Nyungar men were not at the camp this day or the time of the attack because they were camped near Herron Point and the Peel inlet carrying out initiation rituals with some of the older males of the tribe.

It is not known how many aboriginal men, women and children died, but it is said that a group of up to 80 Bindjareb Nyungars lost their life on 28 October 1834.

Steam Ranger

Discovery the Nyoongar six seasons calendar interpretation, bush medicine, bush tucker and Scar Tree identification.

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Nanga Brook

Learn how ancient aboriginal symbols are used in sand mapping and how Aboriginal people made their own Bush Rope, bush soap and bush dukkah tasting.

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Eat Well

Join Maitland in an art class on Country and learn the techniques of painting in traditional Nyoongar style.

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A Resourceful People

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area of Pinjarra was inhabited for thousands of years by the Bilyidar (River) Bindjareb Nyungars who were one of the largest sub-tribes of the Bindjareb Nyungars and were recognised for their physical health. Having been well fed by the rivers, estuary and land where fish and wildlife abounded, the Bindjareb Nyungards were known as highly accomplished fishing people with food was collected from the estuary and river systems and included a wide variety of reptiles as well as birds, eggs, frogs, fish, tortoise, marron, jilgies and coonacs using a combination of techniques ranging from gidgying (spearing), netting and hand seizing to secure their catch.

Maximising their access to resources without overly exploiting or damaging food sources, the Bindjareb Nyungars practised sophisticated land management through combining ‘fire stick farming’ methods and other hunting and food gathering techniques.  Trade was an important aspect of economic survival for the Bindjareb Nyungars who traded with neighbouring groups with exchanges as far as the Gascoyne occurring with the Nyungars being renowned for their craftsmanship in fashioning a variety of hunting and ceremonial items like for example the strong and straight throwing gidgee-borryl (quartz edged spear).