• The new statue stands 9 metres tall and will be in the heart of Perth's CBD (Supplied)
The new Yagan Square will open next month and has been dubbed the “new heart of Perth” but this new entertainment area will be the home to one of biggest statues of an Aboriginal figure in the country.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
22 Feb 2018 - 9:53 AM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2018 - 3:38 PM

Yagan was a Noongar leader and a resistance fighter during the early years of the Swan River Colony.

He was a Whadjuk Noongar man who became a hero among his people for his courage and resistance to European settlers.

Today Noongar man Nick Abraham hopes Yagan Square will help Aboriginal people reconnect with their culture.

“I think it’s going to be a proud moment because we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are always searching for our identity,” he told NITV News.

“I would like to think that it would reinforce that pride and proudness that we have as Aboriginal people even though history tried to make us not proud and put us down.”

Perth’s new prescient has been named in honor of Yagan and a nine meter statue will stand tall at one of the entrances.

The statue’s name is ‘Wirin’, it was a collaboration between Tjyllyungoo , a renowned Noongar artist, he also goes by the name of Lance Chadd.

Tjyllyungoo explained the meaning being the nine metre statue.

“Wirin is the Noongar word for spirit and represents the eternal sacred force of creative power that connects all life of Boodja, mother earth,” he said.

Wirin's cultural spirit knowledge is expressed through his tall stance and unmistakable Aboriginal figure with smooth contemporary lines. 

“His ‘Gidji' ( spear ) and ‘Mirro' (spear thrower) are ‘one’ with his body, connecting to Boodja, depicting unity and connective continuity of spirit,” Tjyllyungoo said.

According to Mr Abraham Yagan Square has the potential to be more than just a meeting place or entertainment area.

“Hopefully it (Yagan Square) will educate mainstream Australia about  the culture before Western arrival and a reconnection with our mob.

We’ve been taken away from our langue, culture and values and responsibilities- this is way of reconnecting.”

The ‘new heart of Perth’ will have a strong Noongar presence.

Alongside the big statue, the square will have a digital tower which symbolises the reeds and 14 Noongar language groups, native trees and plants reflecting the history of the land as well as tracks which will acknowledge the area’s history as a place of hunting and gathering.

Yagan Square is located in between Perth Train Station and Perth Busport and opposite Forrest Chase, the city’s major shopping area.

Mr Abraham said the location of Yagan Square hold strong importance for the local Noongar Whadjuk community.

“It is an ancient site for the old people… it’s where our ancestors were born,” he explained.

Mr Abraham also said his own great great grandfather was born where Yagan Square.

This year marks 185 years since Yagan’s death. This is the second monument in Perth to be named after an Aboriginal person.

The prescient will officially open to the public on March 3 and then a second community celebration will be held on March 23-25.