Kooyar Wongi is an Aboriginal owned and operated consulting business, based in the heart of the South West of WA and Nyungar Country. Kooyar Wongi means ‘Frog Talk/Talking/Yarning/Story’ in Nyungar language. We have more than 40 years’ expertise and experience in heritage protection, environmental management, community engagement, cultural awareness and education in the public and private sector.
Kooyar Wongi is an Aboriginal owned and operated business, based in the heart of the South West of WA and Nyungar Country. Kooyar Wongi means ‘Frog Talk/Talking/Yarning/Story’ in Nyungar language. The reason the Kooyar was chosen as the icon for our business is two-fold;
• The frog is the Bennell family totem and the frog Dreaming is central to their cultural identity
• The frog was used by Nyungar people traditionally as an indicator of waterway health (when frogs were singing in a waterway, the water was good, but if there were no frogs singing, the water was not). Of course, frogs are also used as an indicator species for environmental health in contemporary science, as frogs are hyper-sensitive to their aquatic environment
So the frog represents our main business premise and ethos that there are more similarities than differences between different cultures. It also illustrates the critical and intrinsic link between Nyungar culture and environment.
Bill Bennell is a Ballardong-Whadjuk Nyungar maarman, born and raised in Bunbury with strong ancestral ties to the Bunbury-Collie area. He has worked all over Australia in land management, cultural heritage protection and Aboriginal community capacity development for almost 30 years.
Nerilee Boshammer-Bennell is a wadjella yorga (non-Indigenous woman) from Cervantes, located in Yued Nyungar Country. Nerilee has a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management), is a Certified Environmental Practitioner with EIANZ, and has been working in environmental management and community engagement in the South West for 15 years.
Between them, Bill and Nerilee have more than 40 years’ combined experience in heritage protection and
management, Aboriginal community and enterprise capacity building, community engagement, environmental management and education.