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Goomalling Yarns – Vivid Images of  Lost Time

Michael Cathcart from Radio National Arts and Books interviewed Pilar Kasat CAN Managing Director, and Dallas Phillips from Goomalling on August 20, 2015.

On 8 August this small Wheatbealt regional town hosted the launch of the Goomalling Yarns – an Aboriginal history project that shares stories from Koomal Boodja.

During the project, one of the local women Dallas Phillips, brought with her a treasure in the form of an old biscuit tin that belonged to her mother Mavis Walley. In it was a rare collection of more than 300 photographs of local workers, children, families and friends taken during the 1930’s on Mavis’ brownie camera.

“The most wonderful years, we will never get them back, but we know we need to live for now,”

Ms Phillips reflected.  “Back in the day we lived our lives our own way. This collection is very moving they bring back so many memories.”

CAN Managing Director, Pilar Kasat said when the photos were presented to the Battye library the staff were delighted and believed that these images have local, national and global significance.

In 2015 CAN and the Shire of Goomalling delivered a program to rediscover, record and celebrate the stories of the Aboriginal families who lived on the Goomalling Reserve and in local missions and bush camps.

Goomalling Yarns an Aboriginal history project that shares stories from Koomal Boodja – includes personal stories from 12 senior Noongar community members.

These stories were then used to inspire the town’s youth to record a hip hop music track during a two day workshop at the Goomalling community centre under the guidance of hip hop artist Scott Griffiths, aka ‘MC Optamus’

All photos produced and collected are preserved by senior community members in exquisite hand covered family albums. The photos have now been digitised by the Battye Library and can be viewed on their storylines website.

The podcast to the Radio National interview by Michael Cathcart can be found here:



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