Smoking ceremony to mark the start of Connect South construction

Representative of Aboriginal elders Matthew McGuire and brother Walter performing a smoke ceremony at Mends Street for the Connect South Project.
Representative of Aboriginal elders Matthew McGuire and brother Walter performing a smoke ceremony at Mends Street for the Connect South Project.

THE Connect South project site has been the City of South Perth’s first redevelopment to be cleansed with a smoking ceremony today.

Representatives of Aboriginal elders performed the ceremony on Mends Street to mark the start of the Connect South reconstruction.

Representative Matthew McGuire said the smoking ceremony was about cleansing and allowing good spirits to be part of the area.

“In this particular time, we’re doing an area which is going to be reconstructed into a beautiful area for the public to use,” he said.

“This is how we’ve been taught how to do the smoking ceremony by our father and we carry on, to teach our kids and so on.

“The City of South Perth is engaging in Indigenous communities as well to then make the overall community welcome to an area which was once occupied by the Whadjuk Noongar people.”

Mr McGuire said Beeloo Noongar people used to live in the South Perth area.

“Up and down the river here, lots of people liked to camp,” he said.

The first stage of Connect South focuses on Mends Street Jetty and is expected to be completed by November.