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Unearthing Footprints from the Past



The MHHS has embarked on a project to identify Aboriginal sites throughout the Shire of Mundaring. The project supports the Shire of Mundaring’s ‘Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan’ of finding the connections between traditional Aboriginal history and today’s wider community. Aboriginal sites are of immense cultural, scientific, educational, and historic interest and provide an important link to the culture of Aboriginal peoples past and present


Preliminary research with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) identified fifty registered and recorded Aboriginal sites in the shire. An Aboriginal site means any place to which the Aboriginal Heritage Act applies.


Founding member of the Society, Jeff Murray has taken on the huge undertaking of identifying places in the Shire of Mundaring with cultural significance to the Aboriginal People.


The new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 replaced the outdated Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 on 22 December 2021 giving Western Australia new Aboriginal heritage legislation. This legislation now puts Traditional Owners at the heart of decision-making on the protection and management of their heritage, with the principles of free, prior, and informed consent enshrined in the agreement making process.


Phillip Chauncy (aka Chauncey) C1878


It is Philip Chauncy to whom we are indebted for the recording of many of the Aboriginal names of features and places along the way, having obtained the sanction of the Governor to employ a knowledgeable Aborigine to assist him in the finding of water and to impart such knowledge as he possessed of the most eligible lines of country for the road.


It was he that discovered two important future watering places, Chauncy's Spring and Manaring Lake (The Lakes).


The MHHS seeks to involve the Shire of Mundaring community and Aboriginal peoples in the process of investigating the DPLH sites and locating others yet to be identified. If readers have information to contribute to the project, please contact the MHHS on 9295 0540 or email mhhs@mundaringhistory.org.


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