Nannup Trail opens along Serpentine River, commemorates local family


Ikey Narrier, Elder Harry Nannup, Chris Nannup and Mervyn Nannup. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d479208
Ikey Narrier, Elder Harry Nannup, Chris Nannup and Mervyn Nannup. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d479208

SOME of Noongar elder Harry Nannup’s fondest memories are of his childhood around the Serpentine River where he lived with his parents Joseph and Dulcie.

The family lived in bush camps in several locations along its banks and used the waterways to fish for mullet, bream, yellowtail, mulloway, crabs, prawns and cobbler.

The official opening today of a 4km trail along the river named in honour of Joseph and Dulcie Nannup means the community can enjoy the river views, wildflowers and birdlife Harry Nannup enjoyed.

Joseph and Dulcie Nannup raised their family to be reliant on the waterways for fish and their descendants still fish the river today.

Son and father of 12 Harry said the river had been their saviour.

“And there were always good people ready to help us,’’ he said.

Noongar people have always honoured the river through a reference in cultural knowledge as the umbilical cord bilya, hence Waangaamaap Bilya (Serpentine River).

In honour of the memory of Joseph and Dulcie Nannup and the continuing use of the Serpentine River by their family, the name Joseph and Dulcie Trail has been endorsed by the Geographic Naming Committee.

The morning included a smoking ceremony and Aboriginal dancers, and a whistling kite joined in the celebrations.

The trail runs from Lake Goegrup in the north to the Pinjarra Road bridge.

A series of new signs will be installed along the trail to interpret the cultural history of the river.

A 150m boardwalk was built last year between St Ives Lagoon and the river, an environmentally sensitive area listed as a threatened ecological community by the Federal Government.

The boardwalk is hoped to reduce riverbank erosion and damage to the vegetation from foot traffic and was funded by the City of Mandurah and LotteryWest.

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