In 2022, we included a history display with our Images competition in the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts.

Old newspaper clippings!

Curator Lesley van Schoubroeck and the history display 2021


It provoked significant interest and that information has now formed the basis for a booklet titled “The Jirdarup Bushland Precinct: A Short History.”  The history covers the development in and around the site since 1901, the recollections of local people who have been visiting different parts of the site since the 1950s, and information about the plants and wildlife found there over the last 100 years.

This short history reflects on the impact of European settlement on a parcel of land that the Whadjuk people inhabited for over 50,000 years and its progressive conservation and restoration since 2000 in response to community pressure. The Precinct itself is within a 40Ha (100 acre) area leased to the then Municipality of Victoria Park by the State government for 999 years in 1912.

An early aerial view shows the area in 1930.

We know from newspaper reports that there were kangaroos and emus around Victoria Park in the early 1900s and that as early as 1899, there was concern that enthusiasm for the local wildflowers would put the animals at risk.

A rifle range crossed the Kensington Bushland near what is now Baron-Hay Court in 1916 and must have caused significant disturbance.  In the 1940s there was much concern about the sanitary depot installed on what is now the George St Reserve from 1901.

South Perth Rifle Club June 1938, facing South.  (Photo supplied by David Birkbeck South Perth Rifle Club)

The Town of Victoria Park has provided a Community Arts Grant to fund the graphic design and printing of the story. The book should be available in September 2023.