And so, the Waugul formed the Derbal Yerrigan, the Swan River, where it still resides today. The bilya, or river, is the umbilical cord of the land – a life force connecting Nyoongar people to boodja. So close is the connection, ‘river’ and ‘umbilical cord’ are known by the same name.
The river not only feeds bodies, but minds. Goordandalup (Crawley bay), on the Derbal Yerrigan, has been a place to gather and learn for tens of thousands of years. Sharing life lessons through stories that have been passed down from generation to generation of the world’s oldest continuous culture. UWA has the ultimate privilege of sitting on this sacred soil where Western Australian kaartdijin (knowledge) began.
The maali (black swan) stands proudly on the UWA coat of arms, as our community stands proudly as thought leaders and creators, sharers of knowledge and seekers of wisdom.
The maali and Rose Window of Winthrop Hall entwine as a symbol of connection between UWA and the Indigenous communities.