The Whadjuk people (part of the Noongar language group) have had a close connection with the Fremantle area (Walyalup) for tens of thousands of years. This is a place of plentiful resources as well as a place of spiritual meaning where ancestors have walked, camped, hunted and fished, naming the features they saw.
The Whadjuk people are acknowledged as the traditional owners of the Walyalup area, and their cultural and heritage beliefs are still important today.
Walyalup/Fremantle is the country on both banks of the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River). The story of how the land once extended past Rottnest but had been inundated by the sea is one of the oldest oral traditions in human history. The mouth of the Swan River is the place where the Wagyl fought the Crocodile spirit and used the crocodile’s tail to separate the fresh water from salt water.
There is also a strong connection to Rottnest Island (Wadjemup or place across the sea).
The Fremantle area was traditionally associated with the totemic Dingo spirit (dwerda).
Manjaree (English name: Bathers Beach) was a place of trading and ceremonies.
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