Established in 2019 with nominated representatives from the Whadjuk and Gnaala Karla Booja working parties, the METRONET Noongar Reference Group provides cultural input and advice on the METRONET Program.
Working with key stakeholders, the Group delivers valuable input, advice and support for the Noongar cultural recognition and cultural input into place making engagement streams of the Gnarla Biddi Aboriginal Engagement Strategy.
Core activities include:
- reviewing and verifying Noongar cultural context documents to provide cultural input into projects before the design and development phases
- guiding cultural awareness training and cultural recognition activities
- providing cultural input into how projects interpret and apply information from Noongar cultural context documents
- providing cultural input to identify and validate the Noongar Place Names Initiative.
METRONET Noongar Reference Group members
Peter’s passion for contributing to the development of Perth’s new rail infrastructure through the METRONET Noongar Reference Group stems from a long family history and involvement in rail, handed down through generations from his father and grandfather.
It is an opportunity for Peter to contribute in his own way as a proud advocate for Noongar people.
“It puts a smile on my face to be involved, have input and tell our stories and when the METRONET projects are complete, I will feel proud being part of the METRONET Noongar Reference Group, just like my father and grandfather would have felt putting the railway together.”
Greg has connection to rail through family members and friends and sees the METRONET Noongar Reference Group as a positive way to get involved in METRONET projects to bring awareness to the Noongar language and bring about change.
“When I drive along Tonkin Highway, I tell my grandchildren about the stations and the work we’re doing to give them Noongar names so they can understand what these places mean through Noongars and the Government working together.”
After growing up next to the train line most of her life, Doreen always had an interest in trains and was keen to join the METRONET Noongar Reference Group to provide input into the design of stations and share her history and culture.
As well as being an METRONET Noongar Reference Group member, Doreen is Chairperson for Mooditj Koort Aboriginal Health Association; part of the Aboriginal elder’s advisory group for Murdoch University, on the advisory committee for the City of Rockingham and sits on the Whadjuk Cultural Advisory Committee.
“By contributing to the METRONET Noongar Reference Group, I hope my knowledge and cultural experience as an Aboriginal person will benefit society.”
Lera is a representative of the Gnaala Karla Booja working party and joined the METRONET Noongar Reference Group to make a difference to the ways of working with Government through METRONET.
“Through the MNRG, we’re involved in the decision-making processes for storytelling, naming, language, art and design for each new station. I believe the METRONET Noongar Reference Group has a strong, honest voice and we’ve made changes that are creating respect for truth, acknowledgment, history and heritage – and a better understanding between Noongar and non-Aboriginal people.”
Aunty Marion joined the METRONET Noongar Reference Group after being chosen as a representative from the Whadjuk Working Party.
She is a proud member of the Group with family links with the railways through her Aunty who worked her days as a railway cleaner from Perth to East Perth Station; and her father who worked on the railways in regional Western Australia.
She enjoys having cultural input into the METRONET program of works and has learnt a great deal through her involvement in the group.
With a passion for sharing stories and experiences with the community, Aunty Geri Hayden wanted to join the METRONET Noongar Reference Group to relay her stories, in her way. Nominated to join the group from the Gnaarla Karla Booja Working Party, Aunty Geri is focused on ensuring Noongar culture and stories are accurately told and shared with the community.
Growing up in the wheatbelt and being involved in community outreach created opportunities for Aunty Geri in variety of roles, from project officer at the South-West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council through to Noongar Coordinator at the Community Arts Network. She is also involved in many community programs that help give a voice to Noongar people, like the Whadjuk Aboriginal Heritage Consultants Cultural Heritage Committee.
“It’s important to represent Noongar people and accurately tell stories about where we come from and who we are,” Aunty Geri explains. “I’m passionate about culture and heritage and ensuring sites are properly recognised across projects. Joining the METRONET Noongar Reference Group is a way for me to have a voice and strive to make change, not only in the rail infrastructure industry but setting an industry standard for cultural consultation.”
Read more about the members of the METRONET Noongar Reference Group.