In August 2015 IES enviro-scapes was engaged by the
Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) to complete stage 1 of this important project.
Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) was a prison for Aboriginal
men and boys for almost 100 years. A large burial ground with an estimated 370
graves is located in the main settlement situated immediately north of the Quod
The main aim of Stage 1 was to define the burial
ground area by constructing an organic pathway around the exterior.
For the IES enviro-scapes team this involved:
all site preparation work, including site survey and path mapping and services
location and mapping
- Heritage Monitoring of
all ground disturbance work including undertaking the preliminary
anthropological work and liaising with the on-call archaeologist.
community liaison and ongoing communications
of a 900m long pathway to delineate the Burial Ground area
of stabilised rammed earth walls at site entry points
of 130metres of fencing
relocation of an existing access road
and bicycle traffic management
pruning and removal throughout the site and revegetation preparation
and erosion control
- Demolition of several
buildings located on the site (with subcontractor).
Due to the
significance of the site and community concerns regarding ground disturbance
works, the decision was made that the construction team would be made up
entirely of Whadjuk Nyoongar men.
The young men,
who represented most of the Whadjuk Nyoongar family groups, were provided with
nationally recognised training in Skidsteer and Roller operation and chainsaw
operation at the beginning of the project.
An engineer with
experience in path construction (non-Aboriginal) was appointed to work with the
Aboriginal site manager, himself a newly qualified engineer.
During the 12 week
construction period, the team lived on the island, arriving on Monday morning
and returning on Friday afternoon.
The project was
completed in November 2015 and was celebrated with a smoking ceremony and dance
performance by the Whadjuk Nyoongar men who
completed the work.
Download National Trust News article Feb 2016
Download Rottnest Island Authority Brochure
Download West Australian Newspaper Article Dec 2015