07/08/2007 - 22:00

Cultural shift needed

07/08/2007 - 22:00

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Imagine changing the name of Kings Park to Kaarta gar-up, or river cruises that follow the route of the Aboriginal dreamtime’s rainbow serpent, the Wagyl.

Cultural shift needed

Imagine changing the name of Kings Park to Kaarta gar-up, or river cruises that follow the route of the Aboriginal dreamtime’s rainbow serpent, the Wagyl.

Kaarta gar-up is the local Nyoongar people’s name for Mount Eliza, a popular Aboriginal meeting place before Europeans arrived and, eventually, built a war memorial on this remarkable vantage point.

The Wagyl is better known in Western Australia for its central role in the fight to stop the redevelopment of the Old Swan Brewery on Mounts Bay Road.

Recognising Perth as a centre for indigenous culture was one of the freshest ideas introduced at WA Business News’ boardroom luncheon, and is clearly high on the agenda at the Committee for Perth.

Committee chair Tony Howarth said many visitors came to Perth looking for an indigenous cultural experience and generally left disappointed if they didn’t encounter that in the city or elsewhere in the state.

“In a sense, Perth could be a gateway to all that,” Mr Howarth said.

He pointed to the world-class Berndt collection of anthropological artefacts owned by the University of WA, which is proposed to become the centrepiece of a new arts precinct at the former Sunset Hospital site.

“Rather than having a cruise down the river and talking about where Alan Bond used to live, why don’t we visit places of significance to the heritage we have,” Mr Howarth said.

This type of change would put Perth on the world map, he said.

“Having said that, no-one underestimates the difficulty of doing that. A whole lot of people need to come together to make that work,” Mr Howarth told the forum.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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