Joe Northover

Joe Northover is a Beeliargu Wilman Noongar. He was born in Collie and has strong connections to the river. He tells of living the Noongar way off the land, eating bush tucker. He and his siblings would hunt for goanna, turtles and gilgies. He also went to school and would read the paper to his father. Joe tells of the strong ties within his family, with his aunts and grandmothers. He speaks of the easier life he had, compared to his parents, who had to carry citizenship papers and had restrictions placed on where they could go and when.

I am Beeliargu, forming part of the Wilman Noongar tribe, with family links to both the south-west and the Pilbara. My totem is Kwerdlung – the currawong.

I grew up all around Collie and Duranillin. When I was young I spent time camping with my family in the bush in an old canvas tent, poison-picking and sucker-bashing at Quindalling and Boddington. I hunted kardas (goannas) and other animals and cooked them in the coals on a camp-fire.

My dad worked on the railways. During weekends and holidays he often worked picking potatoes and pumpkins, and as a child I would work with him. Sometimes I was paid with a lolly-bag.

I have worked as a police officer and obtained the rank of senior police constable. I also worked in New Guinea with the Office of Youth Affairs attached to the Australian High Commission, and as a health worker in bush communities around Alice Springs. For over twenty years I have worked with the State Emergency Services as a volunteer.


Joe Northover talks about Minningup Pool on the Collie River

Joe Northover talks about childhood, and his family living in the bush

Joe Northover talks about Citizenship Paper, part 1

Joe Northover talks about Citizenship Paper, part 2

Joe Northover talks about different types of berries

Joe Northover talks about family celebrations

Joe Northover talks about mum’s work for Native Welfare

Joe Northover talks about his work as a police officer and school teacher

Joe Northover talks about his work for the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea and as a Healthworker in Alice Springs

Joe Northover talks about work on farms with his parents, picking spuds, shearing, getting his license and buying a car

Joe Northover talks about working as an Ambulance Officer and State Emergency Service volunteer

Start of page