The History of the Central Nodes

Over three-quarters of a century ago, the area we also now know as Hillarys Dog Beach, that we all love and use, was home to many people. Fishermen, families, holiday-makers, day-trippers, all built themselves a home in these Dunes. By the end of the 1970’s, the people had moved on and the dwellings were knocked down and/or abandoned.

The Dunes enveloped the rubble – the masonry, ironmongery, tiling, wood, glass, asbestos fencing, polystyrene insulation, corrugated iron, household artifacts, and household rubbish all lay silently forgotten and unknown for almost another half a century. Vegetation grew up over the moving sand, holding it in place and creating the view of the Dunes we recognise today.

The beach came into modern use as our Dog Beach in the 1980’s. Litter and items we would now recycle, glass and plastics specifically, would be left in the Dunes. Coke bottles and potato-chip packets, chocolate wrappers, juice boxes, the STRAW!

The Dunes were used by fly-tippers, abandoning anything they didn’t want to take responsibility for; old tyres, fridges, bikes, fishing gear. The sand covered our human largesse…

until now…

Erosion has revealed decades of human irresponsibility to, and disrespect for, the natural environment. 

The winter of 2019 was particularly harsh with several severe storms. The Dunes were battered and badly hurt. To the extent that a few odd discoveries began to be made. An old nail, a shard of paned glass, an old milk bottle, an old sock, a piece of roof tile, a peg, a light switch, a hair comb, a medicine bottle (long before the days of blister packs) – all things that shouldn’t be there. Daily visitors to the Dog Beach began to notice these out-of-place articles and, one day, someone began cleaning them up. As the winter drove on, the Dunes let go of more and more of the rubbish harboured within for decades. We began to take photographs. To this day, the Dunes are revealing more of the human history in this section of the Quindalups and by extension, the social history of Perth. And all through what we have wasted or abandoned.

These photos will be updated periodically – please kindly take a few minutes to view if you wish. If you can add any information on age, use, history, please do comment. If you remember the businesses mentioned and people who ran them, please comment. If you lived in one of the dwellings, we would be delighted to hear from you and record your memories for public record. If you remember the dwellings but didn’t live in one, please share your memories. Many are interested in the history of this section of Dunes and all are welcomed.

Val Ducie


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