The Perth Commonwealth Walkway
On Thursday 19 April 2018 Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia unveiled the first marker installed in the new Perth Commonwealth Walkway. When complete, the Walkway will encourage residents and visitors to enjoy a self-guided walking and learning experience which focuses attention on areas of history or places of interest in the city, including Aboriginal heritage and culture.
The Walkway is part of the outdoor trust UK’s initiative to create 100 walkways across the Commonwealth to provide safe, accessible and attractive places for people to walk. Each site in the route will be marked permanently with a large, in-ground bronze marker displaying the words Ngalang Bidi, which means ‘Our Path’ in the Whadjuk Noongar language, alongside the Queen’s personal EIIR Royal Cypher. This is the first time an indigenous language has aligned with the Royal Cypher in such a way.
Mr Hugo Vickers DL emphasised the significance of the Perth Commonwealth Walkway in an official message: “We are delighted that Her Excellency has assisted the community with launching the Commonwealth Walkway in Perth. The world has long known how important trails are to the Aboriginal people, to Western Australians and the Whadjuk/ Noongar people in particular. We very much hope that the new Perth Commonwealth Walkway will only add to your enviable reputation.“
At the unveiling ceremony at Government House, distinguished Aboriginal Elder and 2018 NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year Dr Noel Nannup provided a traditional welcome.
The marker unveiled by Her Excellency can be found on the footpath outside Government House at the Pier Street and St George’s Terrace intersection. A second marker was also unveiled at Parliament House. Additional markers will be unveiled at other significant places around the city in the coming months, along with more information about how to navigate the final route.
Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC Governor of Western Australia regarding the unveiling of the first marker in the new Perth Commonwealth Walkway said: “As a passionate advocate of our State’s unique natural environment I support the Outdoor Trust’s aim to get people, especially young people, outdoors and walking. I am therefore delighted that the new Perth Commonwealth Walkway will combine an educational experience for both visitors and residents to learn more about our city’s landmarks as well as enjoy the health benefits of being outdoors in nature. For Perth, the inclusion of Aboriginal history in our Commonwealth Walkway is important because our city was built on ancient land that is important to the Noongar people and our State today.“
The Fremantle Walkway
A Walkway in Fremantle links to the Perth Commonwealth Walkway and commemorates the reign of Her Majesty The Queen and The Queen’s three separate visits to the port, in 1953, 1963 and 1977. His Royal Highness The Duke of York kindly unveiled the first marker of the Fremantle Commonwealth Walkway in Western Australia 26 November 2018 at a special ceremony in Victoria Quay, Fremantle Port. The marker, a bronze casting mounted on a sandstone plinth, links the Fremantle and Perth Commonwealth Walkways.
Following the ceremony, The Hon Kerry Sanderson AC presented His Royal Highness with a commemorative Commonwealth Walkway WA mini marker. Further awards were also presented to Dr Brad Pettit, The Mayor of Fremantle; The Hon Barry House – Chair of Steering Committee; Mr Chris Leatt-Hayter, CEO of Fremantle Ports; and Ms Jill Hoffmann, Chair of Fremantle Ports Board.
Most walks are between 5 and 10km, taking an hour or two to walk. They typically link 20 of the most significant sights and aim to be as safe, accessible and welcoming as possible. In total, 1,500 markers are being installed across the Commonwealth to mark the places of most significance that are being connected by the 1,000 km of new walkways.