by Kristy Gregory
Happy for a number of reasons! Quindanning is thought to be derived from ‘Quinda’ which is the Noongar word for Happy Times. We think this is fitting, given that a 2.3km stretch of the Williams River running through the townsite is earmarked for on-ground restoration projects under the Hotham-Williams River Action Plan (RAP).
(Historic and cultural information in this article is sourced from the Heritage Council of WA website and Goode et al 2020 Aboriginal Heritage Assessment for the Worsley Alumina Mining Expansion)
Quindanning is nestled amongst a landscape rich with Noongar history. Nearby sites of significance include artefacts, a quarry, built structures and burial grounds. The most intriguing is the nearby mythological site of Mt Mokine (Saddleback), which was believed to have been created by a female Rainbow Serpent, the Waugal after forging the Hotham River, which merges with the Williams River downstream of Quindanning.
If you visit Williams River in Quindanning now, the River is overlooked by the historic Quindanning Hotel and is the site of a very early crossing, likely to be a stone ford close to where the bridge is today. There was also a Quindanning Pool, although the exact location is unclear due to a modified channel structure over time.
PHCC is working to restore sites along the River, including at Quindanning, through The River Action Plan (RAP). The Quindanning site has an altered vegetation structure exacerbated by numerous weed species, which currently dominate the mid-storey and under-storey, although there is a healthy cover of gorgeous shady paperbarks. Recent site visits have revealed some hidden gems amongst the weeds, including thick beds of native couch, islands of sedges and carpets of penny wort (pictured). Weed control will be an important restoration tool which will be used to give these native species a chance to restore, occupying the spaces that the weeds have previously, and acting like a green mulch against future weed incursions. This project is a long-term one, and the impacts of restoration efforts such as weed control will increase over time, although some areas will be identified as needing direct revegetation with native seedlings. PHCC will work to involve the local community in these kinds of rehabilitation activities over the coming years.