Aboriginal Design Uniform Artist Story

Artists: Tamara and Roger Hayden

Our Noongar people believe that the Wargyl dominates the earth and the sky and makes the thunder, lightening and rain.

During the Dreamtime it created the fresh waterways such as Beeliar (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 Emanuel 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 gnamma, the water holes, rivers, bays and lakes scoured out by the Wargyl with its body.

It shows the Nyungar people (‘u’ shapes) living and hunting along the rivers and lakes, the lightning and thunder (dots and lines), and the hills and gullies (lines). The round teal circles are other sacred sights created around the wider Perth region.

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