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Perth steps back in time in a virtual reality adventure

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

Audiences get an opportunity to 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 the Vivienne ‘Binyarn’ Hansen - a Balladong Whadjuk Yorga woman, the project embraces the traditional and contemporary values of the local community, and uses new storytelling technologies 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.

“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,” she says.

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe is thrilled local audiences will have the opportunity to experience Noongar culture and Perth landscapes through Virtual Whadjuk.

“The end result is an amazing mix of art and storytelling,” he said.

“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 7-13 July from 10am to 2pm daily. Suitable for ages 13+. Duration: 10 minutes. Participation by walk-up only – no registration required. Entry subject to capacity. A limited number of pre-event registrations were filled within one week.

Produced by Periscope Pictures and animated by Bilbie Creative Labs who acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which this program was produced. Proudly supported by Screenwest, Screen Australia, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, City of Perth, Western Australian Museum, and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

For more information:

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Periscope Pictures is an award winning dynamic Perth-based production company that specialises in creating meaningful, impactful storytelling events, and turning compelling subject matter into engaging and innovative audience experiences across platforms and genres.


Virtual Whadjuk builds on leading Indigenous animation company Bilbie Creative Labs’ innovative concept of stripping away contemporary Australian urban landscapes, creating a portal into an immersive and interactive environment that authentically represents pre-contact, cultural-heritage-enriched space. Bilbie Creative Labs are dedicated to finding innovative ways to preserve and present Indigenous cultures.



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