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Galup - Lake Monger

Galup is the original name of the place they now call Lake Monger. The name for the area was "Keiermulu" which translates to 'the home fires or camp' and the lake specifically was Galup or Kalup.[1] The traditional owners of this area are the Whadjuk Noongar people (Whadjuk is the name of the dialectal group from the Perth area). Galup was a favoured hunting ground and campsite, as was the case with most water bodies in the region. Galup is linked and associated to the Wagyl and the creation cosmology narrative of the Nyungar area.[1]

Keiermulu, between Galup and Karra Katta, is the place where Whadjuk Noongar were massacred on the 3 May 1830, one year after the establishment of the Swan River Colony under Lieutenant-Governor Stirling on 2 May 1829.

The oral history of the massacre is transcribed below, as described by Auntie Doolann-Leisha Eatts, who was the great-greatgranddaughter of a Whadjuk Noongar woman, whose name is unknown, and an Englishman, John Henry Monger, who the lake is named after today:[2]

My tribe were camped between Kings Park and Lake Monger and on evening, one day they heard the horses coming closer and closer and they knew that there was danger coming, they could feel it. And they started to shout ‘Kurt kurt koorliny! Kurt kurt koorliny!’ telling everyone to run run. And then the troopers, they were slaughtering them, men, women and children and a lot of them ran down into Lake Monger – Galup. There wasn’t all water there. They was hiding in the bush. There was one young man they told us was very brave. He was a good spearthrower and he tried to fight back and when he drawed his spear they blew part of his face off – and he was running with half his face blown off. And my Grandma would cry when she’d tell us that and we’d all cry too. There was a lot of ‘em ran into the lake. And they couldn’t find them. And the troopers made big fires all around the lake. They said we’ll keep them in and in the morning, we’ll all go in on different angles and shoot this tribe out.

This is from a report written by Major Frederick Irwin, who was in charge of the Swan River Colony’s soldiers at the time. Irwin was a cousin of the Lieutenant-Governor Stirling.[3]

After proceeding half a mile in a N.W. direction we overtook Mr Dale near a Lagoon with a few soldiers and settlers. I was concerned to find he had received two wounds from the thrust of a spear by a Native, while endeavouring to secure him in the swamp; the savage succeeded in escaping tho’ severely wounded by a shot to the face, his jaw being seen to hang; he had previously slightly wounded Serjeant Smallman(?) in an ineffectual attempt to secure him after knocking him down with his (fuses?) – I now divided the party, taking half with me round the lagoon and directing Mr Dale with the remainder to do the other way, to get the Natives between us, should they be in the Lagoon. We discovered them by their talking at the upper end where the breadth was forty to fifty yards but none could be seen, so thick was the cover of tea trees and reeds of seven or eight feet long. While observing the Natives here, several shots were fired towards us from the opposite bank by Mr Dale’s party; on calling out for an explanation and to order the firing to cease I learned that a volley of spears had been thrown at them while penetrating the swamp to where the Natives were, three spears had pierced the arm of the Acting Serjeant Major and the party fired in return. One of the Natives now called out from a tree he had ascended and gave us to understand that their women and children were with them and seemed earnest in his entreaties that we would leave them. I now told the party to leave the swamp and for about twenty minutes we held a parly[sic], the Natives pressing us to leave them and we in vain trying to encourage them to come out to us. At this point hearing a trampling in the lagoon I proceeded alone down the bank and distinctly heard the groans of the wounded, whom they were carrying past; but the height of the reeds concealed them except the tops of their spears. Considering the object I had in view as now fully accomplished; of impressing a salutary dread of our superiority and arms, while we showed them we did not wish to injure them, after getting them and their families completely in our power, we left them at sunset, apparently on terms friendly as usual, I was now anxious to establish a good feeling, from a dread that they might think of revenging themselves on settlers in the Interior before they could have intelligence of this affair.

One British estimate is that between 30 - 40 Noongar were killed or wounded.[4]

There is no monument to this massacre as yet.

The lake and parts of the reserve are registered with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage as Aboriginal heritage sites.

Galup obtained its European name when the lands around the lake, was subdivided into eight lots: in which a southern one was acquired by John Henry Monger.[1]

Nartj Nidja djert- What birds go there[edit | edit source]

Koorlbardi (Magpie)[edit | edit source]

Djiti Djiti (Willie Wagtail)

Wardong (Crow)

Manitj (Western Corella)

Djakal-ngakal (Galah)



Kwirlman (Swamp Hen)

Ngalkaning (White Ibis)

Nartj Nidja Yongka mokiny (What Mammals)[edit | edit source]

Yonga (Grey Kangaroo)

Nartj Nidja Kardar mokiny koorl (Reptiles)[edit | edit source]






Nartj Nidja Boorn - whats this tree[edit | edit source]


Biboolboorn (Paperbark)



Wonnil (Peppermint)

Nartj Nidja Meriny - whats this bushfood[edit | edit source]

Birdak (Bottlebrush)

Kurulbrang (Kangaroo Paw)

Djiriji and By-yu Kaartdijin (Zamia nuts)

Mari (Marri Gum and honey)

See also[edit | edit source]

For other massacres in Noongar lands see Frontier Wars timeline.

The virtual reality experience Galup VR, which talks about this massacre and the Noongar oral tradition.[5] A study guide is available to go with the VR presentation, or it can be used as a stand alone resource.[2]

Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/Public/Inventory/PrintSingleRecord/3d9676f2-c0a6-4dd7-91b4-9c81d1c79149
  2. 2.0 2.1 IAN WILKES AND POPPY VAN OORDE-GRAINGER. Galup VR Experience. Study guide by ATOM & SAME DRUM. https://theeducationshop.com.au/search.php?search_query=Galup pp 7, 15 - 16. Retrieved 28 June 2023
  3. Irwin, F. (1830) Transcript: CSR, Cons 36, Vol.6, f.146. City of Vincent Library Catalogue https://librarycatalogue.vincent.wa.gov.au/client/en_GB/search/asset/3405/0 para. 4 & 5
  4. John Morgan. Letter dated 14 July 1830. Swan River Papers. Vol. 6. p73
  5. Galup VR. Same Drum. https://web.archive.org/web/20230628091143/https://www.samedrum.com/galup Retrieved 28 June 2023