Derbal Yerrigan Yarning program coverView image slideshow

Stories of the Swan River

Derbal Yerrigan is the name given to Perth’s Swan River by the original inhabitants and traditional custodians of the land around Perth, the Wadjuk Nyoongar people. Yarning is a modern Nyoongar word that means ‘talking’.

The students will learn about some of the natural features of Perth, such as Kings Park bushland, the Swan River and Perth hills, and the traditional way of life of the first people who lived here. They will discover how the Nyoongar people used plants and animals to meet their needs. They will learn how knowledge was passed on in oral traditions, the roles of women and men, and how the Nyoongar people believe the Rainbow Serpent, called the Waugal, made the fresh water ways and hills of Perth.

'What a beautiful, engaging and exciting excursion. Thank you so much!' - Pre-Primary Teacher


By the end of this program students will:

  • Be familiar with some of the features of Perth (Kings Park, the Perth hills, Swan River, Narrows Bridge)
  • Learn the name of the local Aboriginal language group
  • Investigate the traditional large Aboriginal family group where children belong to extended families in which there are specific roles and responsibilities
  • Distinguish between the past and the present
  • Engage in the oral traditions of Aboriginal people, learning that the past is communicated through stories passed down from generation to generation
  • Respond to diversity with respect (about similarities and differences in people)
  • Explore bushland and learn about some plants and animals used by the Nyoongar people, and their Nyoongar names.

You may also be interested in a Nyoongar glossary for local Aboriginal words that are used within this website.

Australian Curriculum Links

Kings Park Education Programs complement learning outcomes of the Australian Curriculum.

Download: pdf'Derbal Yerrigan Yarning' Australian Curriculum Content Codes99.29 KB

Bookings are essential and fees apply.

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