In an Australian 'first', the project uses Aboriginal place names to document a capital city's central business district.
Rangi Hirini

18 Sep 2019 - 7:07 AM  UPDATED 18 Sep 2019 - 7:07 AM

A new online map of the Perth CBD uses traditional Aboriginal place names in an effort to promote Indigenous languages.

The Gnarla Boodja Mili Mili interactive map was compiled by the WA’s local government department and launched on Monday in partnership with the City of Perth.

It features 31 sites traditionally known to Noongar people including camping and hunting grounds, natural landmarks and sacred places.

Organisers said the release was timed to coincide with the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages and that more information will be added to the map over time.

Noel Nannup, one of many Noongar Elders who shared local knowledge for project, said the map was one way to keep Indigenous languages alive.

“It’s important to preserve Noongar language because when you say the word and say it correctly, then that breaks into the spirit world,” he told NITV News.

WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said it was important to acknowledge history preceding European settlement.

“The country that we all live on, we work on and play on is country that has been so special for Noongar people for tens of thousands of years,” he said.

“That country had names and it had stories about why that country was so significant and remains so significant for local Noongar people.”