Aboriginal Design – Story

The College acknowledges the land on which we sit and our respect and solidarity is acknowledged in various aspects of our grounds and uniform. Our Academy uniforms and College tie tell the story of the Wargyl and the surrounding locality.

Artists: Tamara and Roger Hayden

The Noongar people believe that the Wargyl dominates the earth and the sky and makes the thunder, lightning and rain. During the Dreamtime it created the fresh waterways such as rivers, swamps, lakes and waterholes. As the Wargyl slithered over the land, its track shaped the sand dunes, its body scoured out the course of the rivers, and where it stopped for a rest, it created bays and lakes. The Wargyl rose up from Kings Park and formed the Derbal Yerrigan, Swan and Canning rivers. It also created other waterways and landforms around Perth.   

When our Noongar people visit a river or body of water we always throw a handful of sand into the water. We let the Wargyl know of our presence. We tell him who we are and where we come from then we are safe and protected.

The Wargyl even created the Southern Lakes where Emmanuel Catholic College is located in the Beeliar Wetlands. This part of Noongar boodja (land) belonged to the Whudjuk Burdiya (boss), Midgegaroo and his son, Yagan and their families, who walked, hunted and preserved these lands and waterways for many years.

The artwork tells the story of the surrounding Beeliar waterways, created by the Wargyl during Dreamtime. The round symbols represent the water holes, rivers, bays and lakes scoured out by the Wargyl with its body.

The ‘U’ shapes in the artwork shows the Nyungar people living and hunting along the rivers and lakes. The lightning and thunder are represented by the dots and lines, and the other lines are the hills and gullies. The round teal circles are other sacred sights.

The rain the Wargyl brings is represented by the other smaller dots. You can see the Wargyl himself laying silently beneath the river watching and protecting our land, water and people.