A smoking ceremony was held at the future Forrestfield Station site in February 2017, at the location where the two tunnel boring machines were launched in July 2017.
Noongar elder, Mr Neville Collard, performed the ceremony in front of 30 representatives from the project team. Mr Collard delivered the ceremony in Noongar language and asked for the good spirits to come and walk with PTA and SI-NRW staff, to look after us on the project and walk with us into the future.
The smoking ceremony was a request made by Traditional Owners during PTA’s consultation with the Whadjuk Native Title Claimant Group and is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal people. It involves smouldering native plants (in this case grasstree bark, known as Balga in the Noongar language) and eucalyptus leaves, to produce smoke which is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.
Future smoking ceremonies are planned for other project work sites prior to major excavation.