A photographic commission honouring the City of Perth
Elders Advisory Group – the Bridyas (the Bosses)
Photography by Eva Fernández
10 November 2020 – 29 January 2021.
Council House, 37 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Whadjuk Nyoongar people, Traditional Owners of the lands and waters where the City of Perth is today and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Nyoongar peoples are the original inhabitants and Traditional Owners of the South West of Western Australia. While Nyoongar is identified as a single language there are variations in both pronunciation and spelling – Noongar, Nyungar, Nyoongar, Nyoongah, Nyungah, Nyugah, Yungar and Noonga. The City of Perth uses ‘Nyoongar’ which is reflected throughout this exhibition except when specifically referring to an external organisation that utilises alternative spelling.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this catalogue may contain images or names of deceased persons.
Kongk and Maam-yok are used throughout this document to denote Uncle and Aunty respectively.
“Ngany moorn-kadak woomboodin-kadak. Barang yira noonan kaat wer woomboodin-kadak. Yoowardjil kanya-kadak ali noonan boodja-k koorl wer noonan nakolak”.
Kongk Albert McNamara
City Boorloo-k baalap warn yoodarn-dandjoo-kadak Wadjak Nyoongar Birdiya wer moort warn koordookayin-kadak wer moolyak kaadatj nakolak wer malayin Nyoongar Birdiya-k. Birdiya baalap yang dolol-kadak, yang nakolak, barang malayin-kadak wer moorditj nyordo-kadak Wadjak-ngat wer Nyoongar-ngat kwabanidjow. Birdiya baalap barang malayin-ak, yanginy baalabang nakolak keny moort-kadak wer yanginy woma moort-kadak mila-k, koram baalabang bardip yanginy, City Boorloo-k dolol-kadak dandjoo-waangkan-kadak wer Wadjak Nyoongar koorakor-kadak karnadjil waangkaniny.
“Kwedjanat, ngin Aboriginal moort-ak wara-djil wer Native Welfare baalap kalyakoorl bandang-kadak waangkan moort- ak. Yeyi ngalang Birdiya wer woma Aboriginal maaman wer yoka moordidjilabiny wer ngalak warn Aboriginal-ngat baarnakwarang-ngat wer nakolak-ngat moort-ak mila-k nyininy.”
Maam-yok Margaret Colbung
City Boorloo-k koordaak warn dolol-kadak waangkan-ak wer karoyoowarl ngalang kwedjanat-kadak, dandjoo koordookayin-kadak wer yanginy mila-kadak ali moorditj Wadjak Nyoongar birdiya-kadak.
Birdiya exhibition baal kwobadjil malidji-k bardip-ngat ngalang-ool Wadjak Nyoongar Birdiya aliny nakolak wer wining
wining Wadjak Nyoongar moort-ak. Wadjap Noongar Birdiya.
“I’m a proud blackfella. Hold your head up and be proud. Never be ashamed of where you come from and of your culture”
Uncle Albert McNamara
The City of Perth have made a commitment to work alongside Whadjuk Nyoongar Elders and people in a respectful and meaningful way and acknowledge the cultural protocol of Elders first. The Elders provide guidance, transfer knowledge, maintain shared cultural values and value systems to protect Whadjuk and Nyoongar heritage. The Elders or Bridya in Nyoongar language, are the keepers of culture, passing on their knowledge from one generation to the next whilst sharing their stories to guide the city in engagement, consultation and the truth telling of Whadjuk Nyoongar history.
“When I was younger, racism and discrimination were in full force and the Native Welfare Department called all the shots. Now, Elders and other Aboriginal people are very strong, and we work for Aboriginal lore and culture for the generations to come”
Aunty Margaret Culbong
The City aims to create guiding principles for engagement and reconcile with our past through mutual respect to deliver a vision of a shared future that includes strong Whadjuk Nyoongar leadership.
The Moorditj Bridyas exhibition is an exciting rendition of the stories from our respected Whadjuk Nyoongar Elders whose knowledge and personal experience transcend written historical accounts as well as give you, the viewer, a glimpse into the history and lives of Whadjuk Nyoongar people.
It is with pleasure and great delight that we acknowledge the uncles and aunties and introduce you to the stories of our Whadjuk Nyoongar Bridya.
Co-Chair Cultural Advisory Committee City of Perth
About the photographer
Fernández is currently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Arts) at Edith Cowan University. She has been a practicing artist for over two decades, working across photography and various other mediums.