Guildford – Pre Contact

The town of Guildford in the Whadjuk region has always been an important meeting place for Noongar people. The area contains many campsites and spiritual sites which have been used by Noongars from pre-contact to the present day.

One of these spiritual sites is a bend in the Swan River near Success Hill, where the Waugal lives.[i] Central to Noongar culture and beliefs, the Waugal is the serpent that created the Swan and Canning Rivers. It meandered over the land of the south-west, making curves and  contours of the hills and gullies.

Guildford and the surrounding areas of Success Hill and Pyrton sit on pivotally important Noongar country where the Swan meets the Helena River. To Noongar people it is known as Yellagonga’s country (west of the Swan River) and Weeip’ country (east of the Swan). The Helena River was a moort bidi – a main run for Noongar people going to and from Guildford where coroborrees were performed.

Start of page