The Nyoongar people have long since inhabited the historic lands of the Swan coastal plain, dating back some 40,000 years. The land provided a natural abundance of food and water resources and the traditional owners developed a rich history of customs and legends in the area.
Through accounts of several early settlers in the region, the most well known legend is that of the Waugal that tells the story of a mythical snake or crocodile like beast that travelled from the hills to the ocean, thus creating the Swan River. One of its resting spots on this journey was at the bend of the river at Guildford under Success Hill.
Of the local Aboriginal people in the area during settlement, Yagan was the best known and was regarded a leader and daring warrior of his people. After a series of events in 1832 and 1833, Yagan was declared an outlaw and was killed at Upper Swan. The Yagan Memorial Park on West Swan Road in Belhus was officially opened in July 2010.
Find out more about the history of the Aboriginal people in your local City of Swan library.