Narrogin is a town in the Wheatbelt region of WA, located 192 kilometers southeast of Perth on the Great Southern Highway between Pingelly and Wagin.
The town’s name comes from a Noongar language word given to describe a local pool in 1869 when colonial pastoralists moved into the region and is likely a derivation of ngarnaginy, literally meaning ‘drinking’.
In 2008, the Narrogin Noongar community was devastated by a spate of eight suicides and four attempted suicides.
In response to the Narrogin crisis, a local Narrogin
Aboriginal Community Reference Group rallied to help families of those who had taken their lives or who had attempted suicide. A community forum was held with Aboriginal psychologist, Darrell Henry, providing urgent counselling services. Oxfam funded this service due to a lack of government funding for culturally appropriate psychological services.
KEY FACTS ABOUT NARROGIN
Local Language Group: Kaartidjin Noongar
Population: The total population of Narrogin today is around 4,219, approximately 393 of whom identify as Indigenous peoples, the median age being 17 years (ABS, 2011c). Most Indigenous people in Narrogin identify as Noongar. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Noongar population was estimated to have been over 6,000 people. British colonisation with warfare, introduced diseases and take over of lands took a heavy toll on the population.