VIRTUAL WHADJUK Step back in time in a virtual reality adventure

See Perth disappear as you go back in time with Virtual Whadjuk, a free virtual reality event being held at Yagan Square as part of NAIDOC Week from the July 7 – 13.

Audiences can experience Whadjuk Noongar culture first-hand, and see how Boorloo (Perth’s name prior to 1829) was before European settlement. Immerse yourself in a smoking ceremony and be welcomed to country, and witness the moment European ships arrived.

Overseen by respected Whadjuk Noongar Elder Barry McGuire in consultation with Vivienne ‘Binyarn’ Hansen, a Balladong Whadjuk Yorga woman, the project embraces the traditional and contemporary values of the local community and uses new storytelling techniques to help share and maintain Aboriginal language, knowledge, and culture.

“The interactive activities inside the experience serve to teach new audiences elements of Whadjuk Noongar culture and language and to emotionally connect them to Aboriginal culture in new ways,” says producer Alice Wolfe of Periscope Pictures. “Virtual Whadjuk seeks to create a profound emotional connection and understanding of how that moment of first contact with Europeans may have been for Aboriginal people.”

Utilising virtual reality technology by Oculus, old maps and historical knowledge from local Elders and biologists has informed the accurate creation of this virtual world. According to Wolfe, “Perth City has been superimposed as wireframes onto the ancient landscape to help place the user and to show the immensity of changes that have occurred.”

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe is thrilled local audiences will have the opportunity to experience Noongar culture and Perth landscapes through Virtual Whadjuk, saying “the end result is an amazing mix of art and storytelling. The demand for immersive, interactive technologies is growing and we know local and global audiences are fuelling the trend for high quality, meaningful content that suits virtual headsets and in this vein, I’m delighted Virtual Whadjuk is being used to activate Yagan Square during NAIDOC Week 2019.”

Virtual Whadjuk is a free event at Yagan Square from July 7-13, 10am to 2pm daily.  Suitable for ages 13+, duration 10 minutes and participation by walk-up – no registration required.