Boddington Community Yarning Circle

Boddington exists within Wilman country, which has been home of the Gnaala Karla Booja (GKB) people for over 45,000 years. The Wilman people are one of the fourteen Noongar clans that make up the greater Noongar Boodja (the Noongar Nation) of the South-West of Western Australia. Throughout this time and on these lands, the Wilman people have practiced their Culture and Customs; their kaartdijin (their knowledge); and their family and kinship systems. Importantly, as custodians of the land, the Wilman people maintain a jural responsibility to look after the health of country.

This project, the Boddington Community Yarning Circle, initiated by Elder Greg Thorn, seeks to bring back the song-line of this area, a song-line that extends back thousands of years. Greg states that “by bringing back the song-line it can once again take its rightful place in our shared living history. It can be sung upon and walked on into our shared future. This song line can connect us back to looking after country, to looking after the health of the river, to looking after the flora and fauna of this place”

The Yarning Circle design depicts a Boddington creation story from the Dreaming. The first ancestor, a creation being, arrived in this place as the brush tail wallaby. The wallaby was soon set upon and hunted by a pack of dingoes.

The Yarning Circle will also provide opportunities to educate and tell stories about foods and bush tucker, bush medicines and fauna.

Where is the Yarning Circle proposed to be located?

The Yarning Circle’s proposed site is within the Boddington River Foreshore precinct, adjacent to the existing 48 hour RV Area. This site, alongside the Hotham River, is a historically and mythological significant place for Aboriginal people. It seems a perfect place to celebrate over 45,000 years of Indigenous history on these lands.

How much will this project cost?

The estimated budget range if the project was fully supplied and installed by an independent contractor would be in the range of $280,000 - $300,000. The project has been conceived as a community collaboration, and therefore, subject to community support, there may be opportunities to share the allocation of human, physical and financial resources.

What is the timing of construction?

Construction will be scheduled pending the results of the community engagement, and following confirmation of funding.

What's Next?

Community consultation is occurring throughout February 2024, to gain feedback about this proposal.

Proposed Community Yarning Circle open for comment

The Shire has received a proposal from Aboriginal Elder Greg Thorn, to consider the installation of a Yarning Circle within the Hotham River Foreshore Precinct, adjacent to the RV Parking area. The Yarning Circle is proposed to be a community asset and tourism attraction, telling the story of the Aboriginal culture, people, and their place. It would provide a place for ceremonies and events, as well as cultural tours and education. The site, alongside the Hotham River, is a historically and mythologically significant place for Aboriginal people. For more information, click here.

Comments in relation to the proposal can be submitted below by Friday 23 February 2024.