The Wadjemup Burial Ground footpath was the first stage of a larger project the Rottnest Island Authority is undertaking to improve management of the Island’s burial ground. Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) is a place of great significance to Aboriginal people throughout the state of Western Australia with a history dating back nearly 30,000 years on the island.
The initial stage of the Burial Ground Project involved the construction of a footpath around the burial ground to provide a non-obtrusive, yet visual delineation of the burial ground to prevent further disturbance of the site.
Major works for this project included:
- Construction of an 880m bitumen stabilised limestone path
- Construction of a 25m rammed earth limestone wall for future interpretative works
- Rehabilitation of disturbed areas and redundant pathways
IES Enviro-Scapes engaged Constructive Project Solutions to provide on-site construction management and work alongside local Whadjuk Nyoongar men to construct the path. Prior to commencing the project, Dale undertook a project induction with the IES team which involved an understanding of the history of the island and its importance to the Aboriginal people.
Some of the challenges faced during the project:
- Uncovering of animal bones which could be mistaken as human. A process was developed where a leading archaeologist was on-call to make quick determination of these bones so works could proceed with minimal delay.
- Logistics of transporting machinery, equipment and 1500 tonne of crushed limestone and bitumen stabilised limestone to the island from Fremantle.
- Minimisation of interference for holiday makers from use of machinery on such a large-scale construction site.