That Was My Home


FISH - Foundation for Indigenous Sustainable Health

That Was My Home explores the hidden histories of the Noongar camps around Fremantle, Swanbourne and Shenton Park in the suburbs of Perth along the Swan River. The focus is the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, a time when many Noongar people lived with their families in camps. The voices of Noongar people, juxtaposed with information from the archives, photographs and stories from others in the community, tell of life in the camps, work, cross-cultural tensions and friendships.

Together they give a greater understanding of the shared histories of our suburbs. The author followed Aboriginal cultural protocols in obtaining permission to include stories, photos and other information.

About the Author

Dr Denise Cook is an historian, oral historian and museum curator with over 30 years’ experience. She specialises in Western Australian history, particularly local and Noongar history, as well as protocols for non-Aboriginal people working in the Noongar community. Denise’s work includes the Kaartdijin Noongar website for the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, exhibition team leader (Indian Ocean Gallery) for the WA Maritime Museum, and oral histories for organisation such as Freshwater Bay Museum, Rail Heritage WA and the former Roelands Mission. She co- wrote the Gwalia Unearthed guidebook, and is currently Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University. Denise is particularly interested in researching, recording and telling stories that might not otherwise be heard.