Adumbral traces : poems on the naming of places in South Western Australia

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Faculty of Education and Arts


The poems in this collection are based on research into the naming of places in Western Australia. I began this project with the idea to study place names in the North and South of Western Australia; however the rich stories I found beneath the place names, and the time constraint of twelve months, has limited my field of research mainly to the metropolitan areas of Perth and Fremantle. In writing these poems I read extensively from historical accounts of the British occupation of Western Australia from 1829 and from recorded Noongar knowledge, combined with my own physical experience of place. These poems seek to open up a space in the narrative of the Swan River Colony, now known as Western Australia, in which to reconsider the origins of familiar place names, and their position in the current cultural discourse of nation. The exegesis The "Mountain is Named after the Man'" walks alongside the poetic work and engages with a more theoretical approach to the study of place names. The exegesis seeks to articulate the inherent inlbalance of power associated with place naming in the colonial context, and how in post-colonial societies, place names need to be critically examined and creatively engaged with in order to illuminate the political agendas embedded in geographical nomenclature.

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Access to this thesis is restricted to current ECU staff and students. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.