The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) is proud to announce the launch of Poolgarla Family Area, formerly known as Lotterywest Family Area.

Biara Cafe. Photo: BGPA

In 2021 the popular recreation space underwent a significant redevelopment encompassing the playground, café, pavilion and garden beds.

In recognition of the important cultural heritage of Kaarta Koomba (Kings Park) and in consultation with traditional knowledge holders, the key features in the area have been relaunched with Whadjuk Noongar names for banksias.

Poolgarla is the Noongar name for the Banksia grandis (Bull Banksia).

Stickybeaks Cafe, now known as Biara Cafe, reopened in August with a revamped interior and exterior, including an improved al fresco area.

Biara is one of the general Noongar names given to banksias, in particular Banksia attenuata (Slender Banksia) which is found in Kings Park.

Mangatj Pavilion, the former - and now refurbished - Community Shelter, is a word that refers to the sweet drink made when the banksia flowers are soaked in water.

Works in the area also included an upgrade to play equipment in Ivey Watson Playground, landscaping and modifications to toilets attached to the café to meet universal access requirements.

BGPA Executive Director Alan Barrett said the use of Noongar names for popular flora was another demonstration of Kings Park’s commitment in its management plan to promote Whadjuk Noongar culture and knowledge.

‘The recently released Kings Park and Botanic Garden Management Plan 2021 – 2026 includes a commitment to enhancing recognition of Noongar culture, heritage and connection in Kaarta Koomba,’ he said.

‘This includes the continuing Noongar naming of Kings Park features.

‘I am very proud to relaunch this popular family destination with names reflecting the original names for our unique Western Australian native flora.

‘Banksias are a beautiful species that are vital to the biodiversity of Western Australia. Of the 76 banksia species recorded nationally, 62 are endemic to Western Australia. In fact, many people wouldn’t know that two thirds of Kings Park is a Banksia woodland.

‘I invite Perth families to come and enjoy the improvements to area. Grab a coffee and support a local business, entertain the children on the playground and learn about Noongar culture.’

The development was part of the State Government’s $5.5 million WA Recovery Plan announced in July 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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