An area traditionally used by Aboriginal people for at least the last 12,500 years has been transformed into a modern day park, featuring walkways and interpretive areas.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the opening of Yorrl Park was cause for celebration within Albany, the Great Southern and across Western Australia.
Mr Collier attended the official opening of the park today.
The park takes its name from the Noongar word for the paperbark tree.
The Minister said archaeological evidence showed the area had been used for at least 12,500 years and was traditionally used by Noongar people for camping.
“We need to celebrate the fact that for at least the last 12,500 years, Aboriginal people walked this stretch of earth, and connected with the local environment as a source of food, shelter and community,” Mr Collier said.
“There are few sites internationally that can lay claim to evidence of a continued living culture. We’re talking 8,000 years before the rise of Old Egypt and 10,000 years before the Roman empire.
“We need to be better educated about our Aboriginal history, to embrace it as unique, and to celebrate it as our own. Yorrl Park will help local people and tourists of this region better understand this history.
“I acknowledge the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation, which worked hard to instigate archaeological investigations, and to secure funding - both Commonwealth and State - for the development of the space.
“Their work means people can visit the park and learn about a culture that is known to be the oldest living culture in the world, and unique to our part of the world.”
WA Government contributed $10,000 to the development of Yorrl Park, through a Lotterywest grant and funding from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs
Noongar students from the Great Southern Institute of Technology have been actively involved in the management work on the site
Noongar students from primary schools around Albany contributed artwork for the signage
Minister’s office - 6552 6300