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Goolugatup Heathcote Lowerlands

Goolugatup Heathcote Lowerlands

Active

With an aim to build on the opportunities identified in the concept plan, we are now entering the detailed design phase of the project.

Last Updated: 31 May 2022 Follow Engagement

In collaboration with the Whadjuk community, Traditional Owners, community and stakeholders, we have an ambitious plan to realise the potential of Goolugatup (formerly Heathcote) Lowerlands and upgrade the existing parklands, without losing its current character and history. 

With a respectful approach, this project aims to explore meaningful pathways to reconciliation and increased community association with the Goolugatup Lowerlands. As a significant cultural and heritage place, the project will not only rejuvenate the natural environment, create a recreational passive space for people to enjoy, and opportunities for cultural activity, but represents place-based reconciliation in action, including an opportunity to advance the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan goals. 

With the concept plan adopted in 2020, the City has appointed external consultant, UDLA, to translate the concept plan into detail design for the landscape and interpreation of Goolugatup Lowerlands, including wayfinding across the whole site at Goolugatup Heathcote.

Project Vision

In 2016, a Heathcote Cultural Precinct Vision and Place Plan 2025 was developed that celebrates the site’s uniqueness, diversity and natural value also guides the development of the Lowerlands.

'A beautiful and intimate destination that has local to international reach for cultural experiences and recreation. Built upon the uniqueness of its history and heritage, its picturesque vantage point overlooking the Swan River and its integrated qualities as a place of diverse cultural experiences'

Four focus areas have been identifided as part of the vision.

  • Creativity and Innovation Hub - an arts centre for creatives, co-working, entrepreneurs
  • Recreational Site - playground, parks and gardens, picnics, connecting with nature
  • Re-imagined Heritage Site - interpretation of Aboriginal and post settlement history
  • Local Food Hub - varied food and beverage offerings, local artisan producers, retail

Concept Plan

Developed in 2020, the concept plan draws on more than 10 years of work and consultation with Traditional Owners and Elders, heritage site informants, the community and key stakeholders.

Elements of the concept plan include:

  • A passive use area with minimal, low key facilities;
  • Accessible shelters, toilet, drinking fountain;
  • Recognition of Aboriginal, European and environmental values with associated interpretative content, linking across upper Heathcote;
  • Referencing historic elements such as old buildings and fresh water wells;
  • A healing garden;
  • Revitalisation of the wetland in the southeast corner, and connecting it through landscape to the river; 
  • Stabilizing of the escarpment with endemic vegetation;
  • Creation of physical links with upper Heathcote (staircase, ramp, road);
  • Parking and access provisions for increased numbers of users;
  • Opportunities for holistic participation and management.

View the FAQs below for more information on the concept plan and engagement process.

Detail Design

We have now commenced the next phase of the plan, the detail design. The detail design will include drawings and technical specifications for the key elements that were identified in the concept plan, including revitalisation of natural areas, a healing garden, a river lookout node, artwork and infrastructure such as toilets, shelters, seating, pathways and stairs. This process has involved close collaboration and guidance with the Whadjuk community and Traditional Owners. In addition, a workshop series took place in April- May for key community and stakeholders, to provide input into finalising the designs.

Opportunities to get involved

There are two key opportunities for the community to be involved in the detail design phase.

  1. Detail design workshops - completed 
  2. Public comment on the draft concept design - aniticipated in August 2022. To receive direct notification for when this second stage is made available, simply select 'Follow Engagement' at the top of this page. 

Find out more information

  • Read the FAQs, documents or timeline listed below

Timeline

  • June 2007
  • Community stakeholder workshop
  • November 2007 to May 2009
  • Site surveys and assessments
  • June 2008
  • Aboriginal Heritage survey
  • 19 January 2010
  • Ordinary Meeting of Council
    City of Melville Agenda Item P10/3107
  • March 2010
  • External summary report
  • April 2014
  • Marli Riverpark Interpretation Plan 2014
    Prepared by Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
  • 2014
  • Heathcote Strategic Environmental Management Plan 2014-2019 (Environment)
  • 2016
  • Heathcote Vision and Place Plan
  • July 2017
  • Lowerlands Concept Plan
    Revision 1, prepared by external consulant GHD
  • August 2017
  • Aboricultural Assessment
  • 2018-2019
  • Consultation with Aboriginal Elders and the Wadjuk Working Party (SWALSC)
  • February 2020
  • Lowerlands Concept Plan
    Revision 2
  • 7 August -4 September 2020
  • Public comment period
    Goolugatup Heathcote Lower Lands Concept Plan
  • Late September 2020
  • Report on engagement
  • December 2020
  • Final concept plan developed
  • January 2022
  • UDLA appointed
    Consultant appointed to develop the detail design
  • Whadjuk community and Traditional Owners meetings
    March - May 2022
  • April - May 2022
  • Design workshop series
    Held with community representatives, Whadjuk community representatives and other key stakeholders
  • August 2022
  • Public comment period
    Community are invited to view the draft and provide comment

FAQs

About the site

Background history

Goolugatup is an Noongar word meaning the place of the children. Also referred to as Guleegatup or Gooleegatup, Point Heathcote was a permanent lookout, fishing and camping ground for the Noongar Beeliar people particularly Midgegooroo, Yagan and Mundy because the “Moondaap” (the blackness of the riverbank) was an excellent fishing ground. Also, the Point is where the men passed through their level two initiation ceremonies. The area was also known as “Kooyagoordup” (the place of the “Kooyar”- a species of frog).

Point Heathcote was one of the landing and camp sites of Captain James Stirling during his exploration of the Swan River in 1827. His intention was to assess the potential of the district for settlement. The area was named after one of Stirling’s crew members, Midshipman G.C. Heathcote, said to have been the first European to set foot on the site.

From the 1840s Point Heathcote was used for grazing horses and cattle. During the mid 1890s, Mr Alexander Matheson subdivided the surrounding area for residential development, but Point Heathcote remained virgin bushland. In 1918 the Catholic Church Christian Brothers finally secured the land with the intention of establishing a boy’s school. The land was used as a holiday retreat until 1923.

Heathcote closed in 1994. In 1997 the City of Melville commenced discussions with the State Government to restore the site for the people of Western Australia. As a result the hospital buildings and Goolugatup Heathcote Lower Lands were rezoned for parks and recreation in an agreement between the City of Melville and the State Government in the Heathcote Coordination Agreement

Visit Goolugatup Heathcote WA for more informatio on the history and Point Heathcote Mental Reception home.

About the site and location

The Heathcote Lowerlands is located at river level, the base of the Goolugatup (Heathcote) Applecross. Heathcote and surrounds are important to the whole community because of their historical and cultural heritage in Perth. The site is also important to the groups who have made use of the space in recent times. including the South of Perth Yacht Club, the tenants of the Art Centre, the Perth Makers Markets, families visiting the gardens and the iconic playground, tourists with an interest in the site and its history and an established fine dining restaurant.

It is a recognised Aboriginal Heritage site as well as being listed on the State Heritage Register. 

Since 1997 the lower lands has been used for passive recreation, with little development to the site.

About the project

Community engagement process

Project information

Over the past decade, reports have been researched and compiled to help guide re-vitalisation of the site, with an aim to encourage people to visit, walk and enjoy a space, with direct connection to the river and views across to Kings Park and Perth City. The research reports were compiled with respect to the site being important to the history of the Whadjuk and European people. 

The initial concept plan for the lower lands was developed following a comprehensive site assessment and a program of engagement involving the following organisations:

  • Heritage Council
  • Landcare
  • Melville Rotary
  • Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Save Heathcote Action Group
  • South of Perth Yacht Club
  • Swan River Trust
  • Department of Indigenous Affairs
  • Department for Planning and Infrastucture
  • National Trust
  • Wetland Conservation Society
  • Heathcote TAFE
  • Blue Water Grill
  • University of Western Australia
  • Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI)

At this time little funding was available and the project was put on hold. 

In 2016, the Heathcote Cultural Precinct Vision and Place Plan 2025 was developed with the following vision:

A beautiful and intimate destination that has local to international reach for cultural experiences and recreation. Built upon the uniqueness of its history and heritage, its picturesque vantage point overlooking the Swan River and its integrated qualities as a place of diverse cultural experiences.

Focus Areas:

  • Creativity and Innovation Hub – an arts centre for creatives, co-working, entrepreneurs
  • Recreational Site – playground, parks and gardens, picnics, connecting with nature
  • Re-imagined Heritage Site – interpretation of Aboriginal and post settlement history
  • Local Food Hub – varied food and beverage offerings, local artisan producers, retail

In 2017, the project to increase the amenity and interpretation of this site was once again activated. A new round of consultation with local Aboriginal Elders and the Whadjuk Working Party provided a new contemporary voice. This led to the final Lowerlands Concept Plan.

Due the size of the project and connection the Whdajuk People, any works undertaken will be staged over multiple years. 

In 2018, an Interpretation Plan was developed, proposing a number of opportunities around the three themes of Innovation, Perspective and Wellbeing.

In 2020, the final Lowerlands Concept Plan was developed based on further extensive public and stakeholder consultation and building on the past engagement

Concept Plan

The City has carried out consultation and assessment over the last decade to develop plans to upgrade the existing parkland without losing its current character and history.

Following extensive engagement with local Aboriginal Elders, heritage site informants, stakeholders and the community, the final concept plan was revised and adopted in 2020.

Elements include:

  • A passive use area with minimal, low key facilities;
  • Accessible shelters, toilet, drinking fountain;
  • Recognition of Aboriginal, European and environmental values with associated interpretative content, linking across upper Heathcote;
  • Referencing historic elements such as old buildings and fresh water wells;
  • A healing garden;
  • Revitalisation of the wetland in the southeast corner, and connecting it through landscape to the river; 
  • Stabilizing of the escarpment with endemic vegetation;
  • Creation of physical links with upper Heathcote (staircase, ramp, road);
  • Parking and access provisions for increased numbers of users;
  • Opportunities for holistic participation and management.
Who are UDLA?

UDLA is a Western Australian Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Studio consultant in Fremantle. UDLA was appointed in 2022 to develop the detail design for the landscape design of Goolugatup Lowerlands, including interpretation and wayfinding across the whole site.

Visit UDLA website for more information.

Who have we previously engaged?

The initial concept plan for the Lowerlands was developed following a comprehensive site assessment and a program of engagement involving the following organisations:

  • Heritage Council
  • Landcare
  • Melville Rotary
  • Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
  • Save Heathcote Action Group
  • South of Perth Yacht Club
  • Swan River Trust
  • Department of Indigenous Affairs
  • South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council
  • Department for Planning, Lands and Hertitage
  • National Trust
  • Wetland Conservation Society
  • Department of Training and Workforce Development (South Metropolitan TAFE)
  • Blue Water Grill
  • University of Western Australia
  • Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI)

In 2018 the project to increase the amenity and interpretation of this site was once again activated. A new round of consultation with local Aboriginal Elders, site informants, Traditional Owners and the Whadjuk Working Party, along with expert input and broad community consultation over 2018-2020 provided a contemporary voice to inform the renewed planning.  This led to the most recent version of the concept plan in late 2020.

How were the community involved in the concept plan development?

In 2020, we asked the community to provide comment on elements of the concept plan through an interactive map of the site. Opportunities to leave comment closed 4:00pm on Friday, 4 September 2020 and feedback informed the final concept plan.

During this phase we targetted our communication to local residents and current user groups. Given the importance of the site, we also shared this opportuity to the wider City of Melville community. 

Some of the current user groups include joggers, dog walkers, cyclists, the South of Perth Yacht Club, the tenants of the Art Centre, the Perth Makers Markets, families visiting the gardens and the iconic playground, tourists with an interest in the site and its history, and people following the trail of the Marli River Park.

View interactive map

What is the engagement process for the detail design?

The development of the detail design will involve close collaboration with the Whadjuk community and Traditional Owners, who will guide and inform the final designs. In addition, a range of key community and stakeholders will be engaged to provide input into finalising the designs.

  1. Whadjuk community and Traditional Owners meetings - commencing April 2022
  2. Six Detail Design Workshops were held as part of a series. Three were held with Whadjuk Traditional Owners and community representatives. Three were held with community members, with staff bringing technical expertise, and key stakeholders.  
  3. Public comment period - community will be invited to provide comment on the draft detail design in mid-late 2022.

How can I nominate and what is the process?

From Tuesday, 15 March until Monday, 28 March 2022, we sought expressions of interest (EOI) from community members interested in participating in the design workshops alongside diverse experts and stakeholders. and seven community members will be selected by external consultant, UDLA.

Our aim was to have equal representation across our community. With numbers limited to seven (7) community representatives, succesful applicants were selected from a list of self-nominated community members based on the following criteria:

  • 2 people aged 12-25
  • 5 people aged 26+
  • Previous engagement or knowledge in the project
  • Availability to attend the sessions (in person and online pending COVID-19 restrictions)

Sucessful and unsuccesful applicants were notified shortly after the closing date. 

Outcomes of the design workshop series
Design Workshop topics included:
  • Background and context of the journey to date and the Concept Plan
  • Key themes and considerations for the site
  • Consideration of what will distinguish the site and what it offers
  • Consideration of key infrastructure items and practicalities
  • Breakout sessions and presentations

Contact us

If you require further information, please contact via email:

NameRebecca D'Olimpio, Strategic Initiatives Lead 
Phone08 9364 0331
Email

rebecca.d'olimpio@melville.wa.gov.au

 

NameMyles Bovell, Senior Projects Officer
Phone08 9364 0332
Email

myles.bovell@melville.wa.gov.au

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