As part of his continuous promotion of Western Australia, the Governor visited ‘Wadjemup’ (meaning place across the water where the spirits are) also known as Rottnest Island on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th October 2020. The Governor met with Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) staff and board members who briefed him on upgrades to the island, the challenges they are facing post COVID-19 and the exciting initiatives for the future.
Rottnest Express Ferry
Rottnest Express provided the best seat in the house as the Governor headed over to the island.
Welcome and traditional Aboriginal Sand Ceremony
On arrival, Trevor Walley greeted the Governor and Ms Annus along with Angie Davis – RIA Manager Marketing. Escorted down to the beach, Mr Walley performed a welcome and traditional Aboriginal sand ceremony with dreamtime stories about the cultural significance of Wadjemup to Noongar people.
Tour of Colonial building of Thomson Bay
The Governor and Ms Annus were hosted by the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association and were taken for a leisurely stroll through the historical settlement to hear stories of those who lived and worked in these buildings.
The tour included the first and second Governor’s Residence, Lomas Cottage, Military Barracks and the Salt Store.
As part of the tour, the Governor was told of how Aboriginal prisoners constructed a large number of buildings and other structures including the Quod, Seawall, heritage cottages in the main settlement, the museum, churches, lighthouses and other heritage listed infrastructure, mostly under the supervision of Superintendent Henry Vincent.
Most of the development took place in Thomson Bay, including the Quod which was constructed as prison accommodation for the Aboriginal prisoners.
Pinky’s Beach Club at Discovery Rottnest Island
The Governor sat down with the Rottnest Island Authority at Pinky’s Beach Club to discuss the Defence Heritage Implementation Plan and plans for future re-developments for the Island.
Oliver Hill Gun and Tunnel Tour
Arriving at Oliver Hill, the Governor and Ms Annus were given a tour by Mr Neil Young from the Rottnest Island Voluntary Guides of the restored World War II 9.2 inch guns which is a nationally significant defence heritage site.
Oliver Hill, named after a prison warder posted to Rottnest in the 1860’s, is home to a Battery which is believed to be the only remaining example of an underground complex of H1 guns in the world.
The tour also incorporated the maze of underground tunnels and military infrastructure at the Oliver Hill site.
The Rottnest Island Authority then took the Governor and Ms Annus on a driving tour of the West End, Wadjemup Hill, City of York Bay and Cathedral Rocks.
The island is lucky to have a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals that lives at Cathedral Rocks. Throughout the year, fur seals live in colonies at particular haul-out sites (places where the animals leave the water).
Rottnest Island’s unique natural attractions, fun family activities, network of walk trails and amazing tours make it Western Australia’s premier island destination all year round.