The WA Governor has spent time at Burlong park walking along the Avon River as part of her first official visit to the Wheatbelt.
Burlong Pool, one of many permanent Avon River Pools, just west of Northam, has been transformed over the past seven years with the help of at least six different organisations including Wheatbelt NRM, the Shire of Northam and the local Aboriginal community.
The WA Governor Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO spent time walking through the park next to the pool with some of the people who helped rehabilitate the site and congratulated them on their ability to work together.
Peter Weatherly, President of the Avon Valley Environmental Society helped instigate a clean up of the area.
“There has been a real awakening of the importance of this site as a decade ago it was just a dumping ground for rubbish, but now again it’s an important site for both the Aboriginal and broader Northam community,” Peter Weatherly said.
“We’ve cleaned up the site, dredged the pool of sediment, planted trees, built a walking track and installed 12 interpretative signs.”
Burlong Pool is culturally significant to the Aboriginal people as during the Dream Time it is known as the summer home of the Wargal or rainbow serpent.
The permanent pool was also used by steam-trains, the army during World War Two and as a local swimming pool.
Northam’s Yvonne Kickett spent time with the WA Governor and spoke about some of the fish and turtles living in the river.
“I’m happy Her Excellency visited the site, as it gives recognition to the work that has been done here,” Yvonne Kickett said.