Next State History Conference
Royal Western Australian Historical Society 2017
Annual State History Conference of Affiliated Societies
Friday 8th September to Sunday 10th September 2017
Hosted by the Wanneroo and Districts Historical Society (Inc.)
Early Bird Discount available until 31 July
Wanneroo, where history meets today.
Wanneroo has a rich and varied history. For thousands of years it remained a favourite hunting and resting place for Noongar Aborigines, attracted by its abundant wildlife and fresh water wetlands. We are told the name Wanneroo means ‘Place of the Women’s Digging Sticks’.
In 1834, five years after the arrival of the first British settlers in 1829, explorer John Butler travelled 55 miles north of Perth
in search of lost cattle. He made camp 15 miles out on the first night, alongside a large fresh water lake.
He was surprised to see a group of Aborigines, who he knew kept company with Yellagonga, a charismatic Aboriginal leader, whose main camp was at the foot of Mount Eliza.
In 1838 Explorer George Grey also camped by the large freshwater lake. The local Aborigines told Grey the lake was ‘Mooloore’ and the land ‘Doondalup’, ‘The Place of the Glistening’.
In 1838 the first Wanneroo land was subdivided at the south eastern tip of Lake Joondalup, and grants taken up by a syndicate of four soldiers; Captain Thomas Hester, a former Middlesex Militia officer, who was farming in Canning, and three 63rd Regiment of Foot soldiers, George Bell Hodges, James Dobbins and John Connolly.
And that was the beginning of a slow, but steady stream of settlers, who developed the land into an important food bowl of Perth, until slowly giving way to urbanisation in the 1960s.
Today the City of Wanneroo is home to more than 190,000 residents and growing rapidly. However, it remains faithful to its past; with a superb Wanneroo Regional Museum, historic homes Buckingham House and Cockman House and the 10th Light Horse Heritage Trail and so much more.