Melissa Pedelty Manjimup-Bridgetown Times
Wed, 23 August 2023
The Frankland River is undergoing a dual naming process to be also known as Kwakoorillup, meaning the place of the Quokka in Noongar. Credit: Alexandra de Moeller-Samarin/TheWest
A river that passes through picturesque farmland and untouched bush in WA’s south could soon also have an Aboriginal name befitting its location.
The stretch of river flowing into the Walpole-Nornalup Inlet presently known as the Frankland River is undergoing a dual naming process to be also known as Kwakoorillup, meaning the place of the Quokka in Noongar.
The herbivore can be found in the local area surrounding WA’s eighth biggest river, feasting on the native shrubs and grasses of the region.
The dual naming has the approval of Southwest Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and the Traditional Owners on the Wagyl Kaip Southern Noongar Cultural Advice Committee.
Interestingly, public notary and publisher William Nairne Clark first recorded the name of the river as Kwakoorillup in 1842 albeit with an alternative spelling, Quakoorillup.
The name change has been driven by the Shire of Denmark — where the majority of the river is located — as part of a project with support from the Shire of Manjimup.
According to Shire of Denmark sustainability officer Yvette Caruso the purpose of the dual naming is to “acknowledge the deep cultural traditions of the Indigenous community”, signifying the “importance of reconciliation”.
The Shire of Manjimup is encouraging the Shire of Denmark to update any signage for the river to include the dual name, should the dual naming come into effect.