Birds of a feather

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Gri­er­son

Re­search by ‘ Ea­gle Man’ into the lives of wedge- tailed ea­gles is con­nect­ing Martu and Noon­gar peo­ple.

CON­NEC­TION to coun­try is close to the heart of Park­erville’s Si­mon Cher­ri­man after six months of climb­ing trees to satel­lite tag Aus­tralia’s largest birds of prey, the wedge- tailed ea­gle.

The Mur­doch PhD can­di­date re­cently tracked some of the birds to Martu coun­try, where the lo­cal indige­nous peo­ple asked the in­trepid re­searcher they call ‘ ea­gle man’ if they could visit his home­land.

He re­sponded by ex­tend­ing an in­vi­ta­tion to Martu El­ders from Wiluna to meet Noon­gar peo­ple where he grew up.

The Martu El­ders are mem­bers of the Matuwa Indige­nous Pro­tected Area com­mit­tee, which meets in Perth three times a year.

“I de­cided this was a good op­por­tu­nity to or­gan­ise a cross- cul­tural meet­ing,” Mr Cher­ri­man said.

“For thou­sands of years, Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple have ac­knowl­edged the vis­i­ta­tions of dif­fer­ent lan­guage groups and cul­tures to their tra­di­tional lands with a Wel­come to Coun­try cer­e­mony.”

He gained sup­port from the Shire of Mun­dar­ing to hold the event on Mon­day at Boya Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, where Noon­gar El­der Noel Nan­nup car­ried out the Wel­come.

Mr Cher­ri­man then il­lus­trated ways in which birds con­nect peo­ple to coun­try with a pre­sen­ta­tion on wedge- tailed ea­gles.

The vis­i­tors then drove to John For­rest Na­tional Park to ob­serve bush­land from look­out points on Ea­gle View trail.

Pic­ture: Stella Gray- Broun

Dr Noel Nan­nup, Rita Cut­ter, Leena Long and Ali­son Mur­phy ( nee Nan­nup) with Si­mon Cher­ri­man, who the Martu peo­ple call ' Ea­gle Man' .

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