Lynette Knapp

Merningar Barduk Elder, Ms

  • The University of Western Australia (M701), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile



I am a Merningar Barduk Elder. I grew up on my family’s traditional country which stretches along the southern coast of Western Australia from Denmark to Israelite Bay. Due to childhood illness, I was not taken from my family and institutionalized like many others of my generation, but had the opportunity and aptitude to learn extensively from my Merningar father, aunties and other extended family well into my adult years.

My mother was Gertrude Bynder, and father Alfred Knapp.  My mother’s great grandmother was Munderan (mullet) & she married an Irishman call Thomas Egan, who was transported from Ireland to Albany. Munderan was a full blood woman from Albany. My father’s father was a Mandabourn and a Whadjari man and his wife was Lillie Bevan and she was Ngadu woman from Israelite Bay.

My participation in a global human DNA study by the University of Copenhagen that found a strong geographical connection between my haplogroup and my family’s creation stories going back 75,000 years.

I have contributed to a wide variety of research, resulting in co-authored academic papers, presentations, film, audio and other media publications. All of which benefit Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people towards caring for Country.

I share my culture and language in both formal educational settings at UWA and with the public through Merningar Language Courses and Yarning Circles. I have been invited to speak at several fora, and have delivered numerous presentations.

I am currently a key Elder working with Prof. Stephen Hopper and Dr Alison Lullfitz on the 2020 -2024 Lotterywest/Southcoast Natural Resource Management Walking Together project. I have contributed both individually and with my family on more than 25 on Country field trips and contributed over 184 oral history recordings.

As a senior member of the Knapp family, my commitment to sharing our beautiful culture and traditional ecological knowledge in a positive light has successfully attracted the collaboration of professionals across disciplines such as archaeology, anthropologists and biologists. My reputation and achievements have led recently to serving as an advisor on cultural matters to several government agency advisers and politicians.

 For my family, and for anyone else who has an interest, I will continue sharing in the hope that the knowledge, language and all other aspects of my culture that I can recall, is not lost forever.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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