Nowanup a Place of Healing
Members of the GSDC recently visited Nowanup, a powerful gathering place on former agricultural land east of the Stirling Range, for a day of cultural learning and connection to land.
Guided through the day by Noongar elders Carol Pettersen OAM JP and Eugene Eades, we learned about the issues faced by different generations of Great Southern Noongar people, and the important place returning to boodja (country) has in a healing journey.
After the property was purchased by the National Trust and sold on to Greening Australia, a group of Noongar elders were invited to use the land as they wished. Eugene Eades took leadership in the management of the land and started regeneration, alongside Greening Australia, Gondwana Link and Bush Heritage.
The development of a meeting place for at-risk youth, both Noongar and Wadjela, to come together and learn from one another was also initiated.
Nowanup now features an innovative cultural storyline planting representing the Noongar seasons, and functions as a meeting place and the site of cultural programs, multicultural camps, a Noongar Ranger program, and the continual regeneration work. More than 16,000 visitors have now passed through Nowanup via these programs.
For the GSDC team this was an opportunity to further cultural understanding, connect with a successful Noongar lead initiative, and discuss opportunities for support and assistance.