Cultural Connection


Marmion was the state’s first marine park and was declared on 13 March 1987. The park has great natural beauty and is one of Perth’s most important areas for aquatic recreation. The small islands of Marmion Marine Park provide important habitat for a wide range of sea life and plant diversity. The area is culturally significant to local Aboriginal people who have a long history of connection to the land and sea. The Whadjuk Noongar people are the traditional custodians of Marmion Marine Park. Prior to the end of the last Ice Age, the Western Australian coastline was about 10km west of where Rottnest (or Wadjemup) Island is now located. Noongar people lived on the lands that are now submerged in the marine park. The Whadjuk Aboriginal people called the area Mooro, gathered abalone and other shellfish in large numbers off the nearby reefs.

Providing a nurturing, inclusive and
safe learning environment for all.

Yarning Circle art work, by Mrs Nicole Dhue

In the heat of Birak and Bunuru , Noongar people spend months living on our beautiful coast. They feed from the seafood delights of the Indian Ocean, small prey in the sand dunes and wild vegetation. They find comfort in the coolness of the ocean and the welcomed afternoon sea breeze. As the extreme weather starts to ease and we enter Djeran, the Noongar people start to move inland. They move up from the sea level of the coast onto the limestone covered sand dunes that meet the bushland. An abundance of reptiles, small mammals, birds and freshwater animals welcome them with and array of berries and plants. A denser vegetation provides protection and relief from the still strong sun.

Noongar people move inland from the coast to the Darling Scarp or the hills in Makuru to take shelter from the harsh coastal winds. The flowering Sheoak trees signal that the kangaroos are ready to eat. It is a good time to dig and eat djida or pink tuber roots. When the weather gets warmer in Djilba , the Noongar groups move away from the hills. Rains have replenished the water sources and the bush has been allowed to rejuvenate. Plants begin to bloom now. Kambarang is a season of plenty and foods such as fruits, yams and bird eggs are abundant. Noongar families move towards the coast where Kooyal (frogs), yaarkin (tortoises) and gilgie (freshwater crayfish) are caught by hand in wetlands and swamps. Snakes and goannas are also caught as sources of food during this season.

The mural shows the journey of the Noongar people moving away from Watermans Bay. They are represented by the coloured dots. They make their way up the sand dunes, over sand covered limestone inland, stopping at the Yarning circle.

They then continue to the Darling Scarp before making their way back as the weather gets warmer. Noongar people make use of swamps like Star Swamp during Kambarang. A swamp is represented by the blue and the outline of green and yellow are symbols representing the vegetation. The circles with dots can be stars guiding the Noongar people, ancestors, spirits from the Dreamtime, developing rain or whatever they want them to be. Our mural shows Watermans Bay to our yarning circle and from the yarning circle back to the bay.