June 10, 2022

Traditional Language comes to Foundation Housing offices!

Last week, our Reconciliation Working Group (RWG) were excited to launch the renaming of our meeting rooms in our Leederville, Broome and South Hedland offices in traditional Noongar, Yawuru and Kariyarra languages.  

Over the last 6 months, Foundation Housing has provided opportunities for staff to participate in cultural training sessions with Kado Muir, cultural learning workshops with Sandra Harben and most recently, an on-country experience with Neville Collard at Herdsman Lake.  

Last week, during National Reconciliation Week, we further increased our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural recognition by promoting reconciliation through the renaming of our internal meeting rooms.  

The names chosen were selected by our RWG in consultation with Noongar elder Freda Ogilvie, Noongar Elder Sandra Harben, Anthea Corbett, Nyamba Buru Yawuru and Kariyarra elder, Diana Brown 

We are excited to announce the new names for our Leederville office meeting rooms: 

  • The Kaarlil Room (Boardroom): meaning ‘home’. The kaarlil (also referred to as koorlak) is where the family heart is.  
  • The Waarkal Room: a snake or rainbow serpent recognised by Noongar people as the giver of life, maintaining all fresh water sources. The Waarkal is the major spirit for Noongar people and is central to their beliefs and customs.  
  • The Karlup Room: a place of fire, where the home and heart country are.  
  • The Boorloo Room: Perth, Western Australia. Originally this term (also transcribed as Boorlo or Burrell) applied to Point Fraser in East Perth, which means ‘big swamp’.  

The artwork incorporated into the signage was that of local Noongar artist Seantelle Walsh which was originally painted onto a mural at our Newcastle Street Lodge, depicting the six Noongar seasons.   

Our Broome office meeting room has been named the ‘Jila’ room. Jila means ‘waterhole’ or ‘freshwater springs’ in Yawuru language; a place where people come together. The artwork incorporated into this signage was that of our very own Broome resident, Vaughn Lee.  

Our South Hedland meeting room has been named the ‘Ngurra’ room. Ngurra meaning ‘country’ and home’ and is integral to the understanding and values of the Kariyarra people. 

Foundation Housing is pleased to have the language of our Traditional Custodians incorporated into the workplace, and we look forward to renaming more of our offices and rooms in the coming months.