Nannine Ave – White Gum Valley

By Maria Wilson

I love my street and neighbourhood, here’s a few reasons why.

I love that my next door neighbours are old friends who share their big hearted dog Odie so generously with me. Odie has taken me on most of my walks in White Gum Valley since I moved here in April 2016.

Booyeembara Park is only a block away. Up on Stevens Street and right nextdoor to Boo Park is the Royal Fremantle Golf Club. A fantastic place for a dose of West Australian nature. The Golf Club very kindly let us non golfers use their grounds early morning and late afternoon to walk dogs. It’s Beautiful. So green and with many old trees. In fact, they have the last remaining stand of Tuarts (White Gums, hence the name of this valley) and some of the most ancient Balga trees (Xanthorroea/grass tree) I have ever seen.

I love the strong sense of community in WGV. I saw a dad and son the other week, almost skipping up the hill to Boo Park, both proudly sporting their ” I love the Valley” T-shirts, which they sell as fundraiser at the WGV Primary School. The Dad has lived ALL of his life in the valley.

Sticking with the valley theme, we also have Valley Park just to the right of my place. A park for everyone, with a definite family flavour. A place where many wonderful community events take place from Easter egg hunts with Sandy the Fairy, to lantern making and beyond.
It was the community of WGV who demanded that the once quarry and then landfill site on Montreal and Stevens Streets, be transformed into what is now Booyeembara Park ( a Nyoongar word that roughly means “of limestone hills”). And because of their passion and committment to ‘their’ valley, it was restored as open space – specifically bushland, parkland and recreational open space.

” Booyeembara Park represents the re-establishment of the components of the original Fremantle people. It embodies the principles of ecological restoration, particularly recontruction technologies, and through the design process initiates a repair of relationships with the Indigenous people of the community.
The project is significant not only because of the outcome – a beautiful park – but also because of the process by which it was created. Booyeembara Park is clearly a significant landscape and its success can be attributed to a process that engages strong design, sound ecological principles, a committed community, and an informed, forward-thinking client, the ingredients that brought Booyeembara Park into being are the same ingredients that will take it forward.”

I love Nannine Avenue. It has heavy foot traffic in the afternoons after school hours. So many people walk their dogs and families to Boo Park or even just around the neighbourhood. Many gardens have the most fabulous desert type designs or drought tolerant plants, which often burst into bloom throughout winter.

People are friendly and I have met many of them as Odie my four legged walking companion has lived on Nannine Ave for the past 11 years and is known by many. It’s his warm and inviting face, now covered in salt and pepper grey, and his characteristic limp (an injury from his youth when he would escape most days).
Nannine Ave also had the iconic Sullivan Hall which is available for hire and has anything from karate for kids to Swing Dancing, which brings alot of life to the area. It’s where the Lantern Parade ends up with people bringing food to share, which is open to everyone. It is a very inclusive neighbourhood and suburb.

During the 15 months I have lived here SHAC – Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives, Gen Y Demonstration Homes Project, and the Landcorp Planet Living residential development are being built. It’s been interesting watching the landscape change, and exciting to see what such projects will bring to this neck of the woods.
‘ A two-hectare residential precinct set to be home to 150 residents in about 80 dwellings, featuring homes with a number of environmental, energy and water saving initiatives expected to slash household billls by $1200 a year, cut grid energy used by 60 percent and mainswater use by 70 percent compared with the Perth average’ has to be a good thing and something to watch grow and learn.

Thank you so much for letting me share a part of my world with you. Don’t forget to say hello to your neighbours, it is what makes a neighbourhood a community. And do visit Boo Park sometime soon, I’m off there now with Odie to visit the ducks.