Noongar Elder revisits the land of his Avon Valley ancestors

By Sara Wlazlowski

ELVIS MOODY (right) is a local Yued Ballardong Elder raised in Toodyay.

He and I are walking along the Bilya walk trail from Toodyay to Redbank Pool, about one-and-a-half kilometres south of the town.

Redbank Pool is of great significance to Elvis.

He recalls stories from his mother who, with her tribe, used to walk to the pool daily from their camp at Boyagerring Brook to fish, dive for turtles, hunt for eggs, and catch ducks.

Elvis picks a stem of grass and makes a whistle out of it.

“This is what we used to call the ducks in,” he says, blowing it to make a duck-like quack.

I try it and make a rude raspberry sound.

“This must be secret blackfella business,” I say.

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