Former Wheatbelt Aboriginal mission receives State heritage status
- Djuringe Mooranoppin site holds anthropological and archaeological heritage value
- Mooranoppin Nature Reserve, named as Djuringe Reserve by the Noongar people, alongside former Kellerberrin mission
- Place includes Aboriginal cultural heritage sites that are thousands of years old
The State Government today announced that Djuringe Mooranoppin, in the Wheatbelt town of Kellerberrin, would be added to the State Register of Heritage Places.
Located over 200 kilometres east of Perth, the site holds archaeological importance dating back thousands of years containing Aboriginal art sites, water sources, ceremonial areas, Aboriginal campsites, burials, and gravesites. A mission was also established with a church and a former school.
The site is socially and culturally significant to the local Noongar community. It highlights the continuation of traditional culture despite the historical legacy of discriminatory Government policies enacted to control and segregate Aboriginal people.
Djuringe Mooranoppin, Kellerberrin is no longer used as a mission or Aboriginal reserve. However, the place continues to be used by the local Noongar population for teaching traditional culture to younger generations.
Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:
"The addition of Djuringe Mooranoppin, Kellerberrin to the State Register of Heritage Places is a vital inclusion that captures the continuation of Aboriginal culture and practices in times when Government policies resulted in many Aboriginal people being disconnected from their culture.
"To have the site available for cultural and historical teachings provided by knowledge holders, whilst also allowing anthropological and archaeological sites to be protected and conserved is incredibly special.
"Importantly, it also captures the historical legacy of the treatment of Aboriginal people in the past, the role that missions and reserves played in the erosion of culture, and how fiercely Aboriginal people have fought to continue cultural traditions to this day."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"There are several sites in Djuringe Mooranoppin registered under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, and that protection will continue under the new Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation.
"The additional recognition and protection as a State Registered Heritage place reflects the high degree of social and cultural importance for the local Noongar community and to the history of Aboriginal culture in Western Australia.
"Djuringe Mooranoppin highlights the survival of Aboriginal culture, language and stories - even against attempts to 'Christianise' the Aboriginal population. I commend the Noongar community for retaining their continuing connection to this place against adversity."
Heritage Minister's office - 6552 5400
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400