Guildford – 1950s

Many Noongar people lived in houses made from natural or recycled materials used in traditional ways. These included forked branches covered with tin, hessian bags or brush, as well as tents and tin shacks.[xxii] These kinds of houses maintained Noongar links to traditional living and were often in contrast with the European view: Southern Districts Officer, C. Wright Webster described ‘the housing conditions in this area as deplorable, and the worst he had seen anywhere’. He said that ‘Aboriginal people tend to be housed in mia mias, bag humpies, beaten tins on wooden framework, or dilapidated timber shacks with iron roofs. The most common type of dwelling is the tent’.[xxiii] Despite this, many Noongar people fondly recall those days when extended family groups lived together.

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