Shire of Goomalling

Old Native Reserve Site

On the south west corner of where Calingiri Rd meets Main St, there used to be a 'native reserve', where Goomalling's Aboriginal families were sent to live away from the white settlement. A strict curfew was imposed on aboriginal people whereby they had to be off the streets between the hours of 6am-6pm unless they had written permission from the authorities. Five generations of Walley descendants lived on the reservation beginning with Martin and Julia Walley. The families had and still have a strong spiritual connection to the reserve where they practiced traditional aboriginal customs including hunting, corroborees, telling dreamtime stories and how to look after the land.

signing of MOUMemorandum of Understanding between the Shire of Goomalling and Koomal Aboriginal Committee was signed on 18 September 2013 outlining the significance of the land to the Ballardong people and Shire of Goomalling’s commitment to maintaining Lot 495 and 503 Calingiri Road (Freehold Land) in recognition of the Indigenous History of the site. 

A shelter and commemorative plaque have since been erected, providing a place where Noongar people, including those who lived at the reserve and their descendants, can sit, yarn and tell their children of their life/culture and dreamtime stories that are a very important part of who they are, and a place to walk on the land and be as one with Mother Earth.

To find out about the white man's laws and attitudes that had an impact on the lives of Aboriginal Australians including Goomalling's Ballardong people, visit To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal lives under control, an online exhibition by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) with the co-operation of the National Library of Australia.