Yannow Boonark: Slow Moving Trees

Susan Broomhall (Producer), Paul Gibbard (Performer), Gina Pickering (Producer), Marie Taylor (Performer), Betty Garlett (Performer), Chelsey Thomson (Performer), Gladys Yarran (Performer), Marlene Warall (Performer), Stephen Hopper (Performer)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputRecorded/rendered creative work


The Whadjuk women of the Nyungar nation hold rich knowledge about the trees of southwestern Australia. They understand their specific qualities, uses and values to the Nyungar people. When French scientists collected tree specimens from Nyungar land in the 18th and 19th centuries, they looked with scientific eyes and without local cultural insight. French men renamed trees already known for thousands of years by Aboriginal women and their families. Western scientific practices created significant collections from specimens collected locally, which still determine botanical knowledge today. However, Nyungar women’s deep knowledge of trees is continuous, expansive and they are willing to share it.

In this film, we meet Whadjuk Ballardong Birdiya Marie Taylor and Traditional Custodians Betty Garlett, Chelsey Thomson, Gladys Yarran and Marlene Warrall, who speak about women’s management, understanding and care of plants at Walliabup / Bibra Lake Reserve, past and present.

We also hear from Professor Susan Broomhall, Director of the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre at ACU, UWA botanist Professor Stephen Hopper and senior lecturer in French studies Dr Paul Gibbard, about early European description of southwestern Australian plants.

The film has recently been donated to the State Library’s West Australian collections by the Australian Catholic University and is available online through the catalogue .

The film was executive produced by Professor Susan Broomhall and written and produced by Gina Pickering from Latitude Creative Services.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPerth, Australia
PublisherState Library of Western Australia
Media of outputFilm
Size23 minutes 14 seconds
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2023

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