Galup VR Experience coming to Local History Centre

Published on Friday, 5 August 2022 at 2:03:00 PM

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience members are advised that this news item and production contains names of people who have passed away.

Galup (Lake Monger) is visited by thousands of people each week.

The iconic Perth wetland is where Whadjuk Noongar families lived and maintained home campfires for tens of thousands of years up until 1829.

But many visitors may not know the events that happened at Galup nor understand the significance of the site.

To try and change this, Noongar theatre-maker Ian Wilkes and artist/filmmaker Poppy van Oorde-Grainger worked with production company Same Drum to create the Galup VR Experience, a virtual reality film which includes an oral history from the late Noongar Elder Doolann-Leisha Eatts.

Galup VR Experience is set at Lake Monger and invites people to visit the lake through virtual reality technology and be immersed in retelling one of its most important and largely untold stories.

It tells the story of a horrible massacre of 30 Noongar people on 3 May 1830 at Galup.

The City of Vincent and Town of Cambridge collaborated with Same Drum to develop a historic timeline that provides context and detail of the impact of colonisation on Galup.

Mayor Emma Cole said Galup (Kaarlup) was a ‘place of fire’ and a traditional camping and meeting place for thousands of years.

“Galup is a place that resonates with so many people in our community, as a place to relax and enjoy nature, exercise, play and meet friends and family,” she said.

“Having experienced the Galup live performance and now the VR Experience, Galup is so much more.

“We all now have the opportunity to learn about this significant place to Noongar people and our history through the telling of this story.

“Despite the very sad history, this has not been a negative experience, but something I cherish knowing.

“It brings a much deeper connection to the past and an understanding of where we are today.

“I see this as an important part in our local path to reconciliation.”

In the Galup VR Experience, Ian Wilkes and his son Calven meet the audience on a bridge over the Mitchell Freeway.

“I remember being in my father’s car as a kid driving past Lake Monger along the freeway,” Wilkes said.

“Dad would tell us to look out the windows towards the lake, he would always say, ‘Something bad happened there, never forget it, always remember what really happened’.”

After being shown at the WA Museum Boola Bardip, the Galup VR Experience will be available for viewing at the City of Vincent Local History Centre in September.

The centre is hosting a curator’s talk on 8 September. 

For information, visit the event's page.

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