Connecting with country

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Menang elder Vernice Gillies, Menang man Larry Blight and Museum of the Great Souther's Catherne Salmaggi with Quaranup in the distance.
Camera IconMenang elder Vernice Gillies, Menang man Larry Blight and Museum of the Great Souther's Catherne Salmaggi with Quaranup in the distance. Credit: Shannon Smith

There is a special opportunity to learn about the history, stories and language of the Quaranup region from local Menang guides next week.

Menang elder Vernice Gillies and Menang man Larry Blight will be conducting tours for the Museum of the Great Southern on Sunday, August 18 as part of National Science Week.

The day will focus on keeping the ancient languages alive and learning how many places locals are familiar with gained their names.

The WA Museum’s reptile curator Dr Paul Doughty will also be helping explore landscapes, flora and fauna, and how Menang people use plants and animals as bush tucker.

Ms Gillies said the day would include a search for kwoor (wallabies), karda (goannas) and kullari (geckos) — animals all significant in Menang culture.

“Walking and talking on country (boodja) is the best way to achieve a greater understanding of this beautiful region, and to learn how we can enjoy and help care for it together,” she said.

“We hope participants will learn some new Noongar words to describe the things we find and gain a deeper understanding of the ancient cultural connections to this unique landscape.”

Ms Gillies and Mr Blight will share their knowledge and illustrate discussions with photos and specimens as they walk through Quaranup.

Ms Gillies said people could contribute to the survival of Noongar culture by sharing knowledge and using language.

“It will be a day spent with like-minded people in a pleasant setting to share knowledge and stories and experiences of the diverse and stunning Great Southern landscape,” she said.

On Country — Quaranup Boodja starts at 9.30am at the Museum of the Great Southern.

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