Welcome to Wadjuk City

Map of Perth with original lakes and swamplands shown, 1838

The Perth CBD area was originally home to a chain of seasonal wetlands and lakes.

These water sources sustained Noongar Wadjuk people for thousands of generations but were drained to make way for the Swan River Colony. The surrounding area was then quickly flattened and reshaped.

The ground on which the State Library stands was part of the shore of Lake Kingsford which encompassed the Train Station and Perth Cultural Centre.

These ancient wetlands continue to have a presence in the city, and some large buildings still operate basement pumps to keep the rising waters at bay.

Women like Fanny Balbuk were the custodians of this area and were devastated by the destruction wrought on their traditional boodjar (Country).

Dool, Monnop, Joobytch, Genburdong and Woolber c.1905

As the city grew Noongar people were forced to adapt, but the songlines and ancient features of Noongar boodjar can still be seen, you just need to look down.

This page last updated on
7 October 2021