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Beeliar is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn. The name refers to the Beeliar people, a group of Aboriginal Australians who had land rights over the southern half of Perth's metropolitan area. The suburb contains the Thomsons Lake Nature Reserve.
"Beeliar" is a Noongar word that translates to "river" or "water running through". The suburb was named after an early settler-colonialist, Robert Menli Lyon, who recorded and interacted with the local Aboriginal group in the area circa the nineteenth century. Before European contact, the suburb was occupied by the Beeliar group of the Whadjuk nation, who are part of the broader Noongar language region. The Noongar peoples have Dreaming stories related to the creation of the landforms in Beeliar and had lore that outlined the maintenance and care of the land. Oral history records and archaeology account for the Beeliar-Noongar belonging to the Beeliar suburb and its neighbouring areas.The region of Beeliar was also included in the Swan River Colony, which was the first colony not established for convicts. The suburb was first governed by Captain James Stirling. Following Stirling's retirement, Beeliar was part of the frontier wars. Beeliar was home to Yagan and his father, Midjegoorong, who were notable figures during this period.From the twentieth century, the suburban boundaries of Beeliar were modified gradually. Bibra Lake, which was still a feature within the Beeliar boundary during this time, was a site for the Australian Women's Army Service station during World War Two.Since the post-war era, Beeliar has undergone several council projects, such as the Wetlands Education Centre of Cockburn (established in the 1980s), and gradually developed into a modern metropolitan suburb by the 1990s.
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