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Celebration for Pumphrey's Bridge

18 November 2016

More than 150 people gathered at Pumphrey’s Bridge to celebrate the launch of a book and plaque recognising the significance of the site to the local community.

Wheatbelt NRM worked with local Noongar families in preserving and re-telling their stories through the publication “Koompkinning: The Pumphrey’s Bridge Storybook”.

The site along the Hotham River, just west of Pingelly, was home to Aboriginal families because of its rich diversity in wildlife and flora.

Wheatbelt NRM’s Michelle Winmar helped to organise the event, which included an unveiling of a plaque, cultural dancing fused with hip hop, live music, an evening meal and plenty of story-telling.

The celebrations included a ‘Welcome to Country’ by local Noongar Elders Mervyn Abraham and Gary Bennel.

“The celebration was such a success we were hoping it would become an annual event,” Michelle Winmar said.

“This area has so much cultural and historical significance to local families and also played a part in the Dreamtime story of the Wargul.”

“The highlight was the unveiling of the plaque by Nick Abraham, which showed the families who camped along the river, fishing for djilgies and hunting for rabbit and kangaroo.

“These families worked closely with the nearby farmers to clear the land, building fences using the local Mangart trees.”

The Koompkinning book followed the recent publication of stories from Boogin Rock, near Brookton.

Both books have been funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.