'Let us go Home' - Perth Rally - Lockridge sacred land

Join us at the Rally - for justice and humanity for our People especially those who are homeless living on the streets and at risk of dying on the streets

Ask the Premier, Mr Barnett to let us go Home to our Sacred Land to live in peace and harmony as we did since the Beginning of Time.

We are asking the Hon Colin Barnett
"Give Back Our Sacred Lockridge Land and our Homes we designed and built"
Parliament House
Tuesday 11 March 2014
1:00pm - 3:00pm


Lockridge Rally Flyer/Poster pdf

We have been homeless for 11 years

Our people have been homeless on the streets for 11 years since we were made homeless, forced off our Land by the Geoff Gallop Labor Government on 13 June 2003 through an Act of Parliament, the Reserves (Reserve 43131) Act of 2003. The Foss Report (Report of the Select Committee on Reserves (Reserve 43131) Bill) showed that Gallop had no grounds to close the SVNC.

Many of our People are now sleeping under trees, in vacant blocks, in parks, in car parks, in alleyways. Young people are growing up in the homeless lifestyle, with sickness, cold, rain, getting bashed and robbed when asleep, being given move-on notices from the police, getting big fines, getting locked up.

The Families that have Homeswest houses, in over-crowded, bad conditions, nothing like the big, warm-in-winter and cool-in summer culturally suitable houses in the Community.

The houses of our Community were designed by us with our architects - to be culturally appropriate and environmentally friendly - rammed earth with some sun and wind power.

Our Land has always been known as Nyungah Land - particularly the Nettle Family - going back over two hundred years ago.

We built our houses and our Dome ourselves with our architects Phillip Gibbs and Mike Ipkendanz and registered builders. The last house was finished in 2001.

We had our houses taken from us by Act of Parliament - Gallop's Reserves Act - in 2003. All the houses now stand empty. We want our houses and Land returned back to us, with funding to put it all in good order.

Since we were all made homeless, we have lost too many of our People. Too many deaths - our two Sisters who died on the streets, each leaving 4 children motherless, and our Brother who died last year, who was homeless on the streets, any other homeless people who have passed away on the street.

We have been locked out since 13 June 2003.
We never turned homeless people away,
- there was always a bed and a feed.
Our houses we designed and built ourselves stand empty and neglected.

From Bella Bropho
M: 0467 329 047, 0411 240 296

History of Lockridge

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited for at least 38,000 years. From the 1830s until the 1940s the land was owned by the Hammersley family, which allowed Aboriginal people to remain on their traditional campsite. In 1941 a group of Swan Valley Nyungah women purchased 20 acres (8.1 ha) of bushland bounded by Gallagher Street and Mary Crescent, Eden Hill. The local council refused their requests for water and applications to build housing so they camped in mia mias, bush breaks and tin camps and relied on water dug from their own wells. In the 1950s the area was resumed by the State Housing Commission for the creation of the suburb of Eden Hill.

In 1977 several groups decided to make a stand at the Lockridge Campsite and in 1981 the people incorporated themselves as Fringedwellers of the Swan Valley Inc. The Fringedwellers began a series of protests asking the government to assist them with housing. During the 1980s the improvised huts and tents were replaced with government-supplied mining cabins.

On 19 July 1994 the Lockridge Campsite became the Swan Valley Nyungah Community when governor- general Michael Jeffery, "by virtue of the provisions of Section 33(2) of the Land Act 1933", vested Reserve 43131 (Swan Location 11942) in the Swan Valley Nyungah Community Aboriginal Corporation for the designated purpose of "use and benefit of Aboriginal Inhabitants".) With federal-government funding, community members designed their own culturally appropriate and environmentally sensitive housing.

The community started its own school which taught Indigenous content and had a good attendance record. The camp also had a good relationship with local police.

In controversial circumstances, the Government of Western Australia closed the settlement in 2003 by act of Parliament following allegations of widespread sexual abuse, rape and substance abuse, after a 15-year-old girl, Susan Taylor, committed suicide in 1999.

The suicide was the subject of a coronial inquest, followed by the 2001 Gordon Inquiry into claims of family violence and child abuse in Western Australian Aboriginal communities. This led to the formation of a parliamentary select committee which reported on matters surrounding the Community and its closure.

On 6 June 2008, Bella Bropho, on behalf of the Community, lost an appeal to the Federal Court on the grounds that their eviction and loss of property was in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Bella Bropho is currently challenging the decision in the High Court of Australia.

Swan Valley Nyoongar community returns to Lockridge camp
In 2012 the Swan Valley Nyoongars temporarily reclaimed the controversial Lockridge community camp by setting up a tent embassy and they have vowed to fight to stay.