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Fishing traps

Wattierup / Oyster Harbour Fishtraps - HCWA Place No. 83 - inHerit

Aboriginal cultural heritage

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Traditional Custodians

The Menang people have been the traditional custodians of the country around Albany for many thousands of years prior to European settlement, which has created a wealth of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

There are 40 known registered Aboriginal heritage sites and 85 more sites listed as ‘other heritage places’, across the City of Albany local government area. These sites include artefact scatters, mythological sites, engravings, grinding areas, food and ceremonial sites, that reflect the life and culture of the Menang people.

There remains a strong interest among Aboriginal people in both the area as a whole and in particular sites. There are associations with places traditionally used by the Menang people, places that feature in creation stories and mythology, and places that are associated with Aboriginal life after European settlement. 

The City of Albany Aboriginal Accord 2003 represents a statement of commitment to working with the Aboriginal people of Albany to promote a greater understanding throughout the community of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples' history and culture.  

City of Albany Aboriginal Accord 2003


Restoring Menang Noongar Place Names Project

In 2021 and 2022, a number of significant places were identified to be dual named (or renamed) with the traditional Noongar name, as part of the Restoring Menang Noongar Place Names project, undertaken in partnership between the local Menang Noongar community, South Coast Natural Resource Management and the City of Albany.

Report News Dual naming signage

Kalgan Rivermouth


Vancouver Spring

Kep Mardjit

Rock Outcrop



Legislation, information & application process 

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 was developed through the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage reform process undertaken by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH). Associated regulations, statutory guidelines and operational policies have been released through a co-design process with relevant stakeholders.

*The new Act will come into effect from 1 July 2023.

Developers and landowners are required to undertake due diligence to determine the potential impact of a development or activity on Aboriginal heritage interests.

For contact details, further information and advice regarding protocols, processes and procedures relating to development or activity in or within proximity to Aboriginal sites or other heritage places, please refer to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 page of the DPLH website.

References and resources

Information on Aboriginal cultural heritage management in the south west is available from the WA Government website:

Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present and Future) Recognition Act 2016 

South West Native Title Settlement – commenced in 2021

Indigenous Land Use Agreements - one for each of the six Noongar groups - document all elements of the Settlement

Aboriginal and dual naming guidelines

Further Aboriginal cultural heritage reference and resource information is available via the links listed below:

Aboriginal Heritage Council Report 2005 (‘Kinjarling’ The Place of Rain)

Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge – Sharing Noongar Culture - South West Land and Sea Council

Wagyl Kaip Southern Noongar Aboriginal Corporation

Albany Public Library - Albany History Collection

State Library of WA - Indigenous WA


Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage - Aboriginal heritage

Local Planning Strategy 2019