Northam-Pithara Rd

Road repair Northam-Pithara Rd

We are into the resurfacing phase of road repair along this road.


One of the resurfacing jobs was at the intersection of Ballidu, Dalwallinu, Goomalling, Northam, Waddington, and Piawaning a stone’s throw from the town of Wongan Hills. Just out of curiosity I thought I would find out if any of these town names had any indigenous meaning.

This is what I found:

The name Ballidu is a hybrid name, coming from “balli”, a Noongar Aboriginal word meaning “on this side” or “in this direction”, and “Duli” after a nearby rock hole.

The name Dalwallinu comes from the Aboriginal word that means “place to wait a while” or possible “goodlands”

As stated in a previous post, Goomalling is an Aboriginal word which means “the place of the silver-grey possum”. Goomal is the noongar word for this possum.

Northam was named by Governor Stirling, probably after a village of the same name in Devon, England.

Waddington was named after John Waddington who proposed a railway from Perth to Champion Bay. Waddington is now a ghost town with a few ruins. Find more about Waddington here… and here…. 

Piawaning is named after nearby Piawaning Spring which has been included on maps since 1877, but the meaning of the name is not known.

Wongan Hills, “Wongan” is derived from the Indigenous Australian name “wangan-katta”, “wanka” and “woongan”. “Katta” is known to mean “hill”, but the meaning of “wongan” is uncertain. It may be related to “kwongan”, an indigenous word for sandplain, or “whispering”, in which case “wongan katta” would mean “whispering hills” (katta is a word for hill).


Have you ever seen any of these markers along side the road? Do you know what they are for?



Well, these markers are commonly known as ‘hockey sticks’ or DRF markers.

DRF standing for Declared Rare Flora.  Many DRF species are only known from a small number of mature plants and some only occur in one or two locations. Road verges often provide important habitats for rare flora, especially in shires where extensive clearing has occurred for agriculture, housing and industry. For example, a particular species of grevillea is known from only one roadside population of approximately 443 individual plants.

DRF sites on roadsides are generally marked with two standardised yellow markers at either end of a site, which are bent to face towards each other.

DRF is given special protection under State and Federal legislation to prevent extinction and to maintain biodiversity. The State legislation, the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, states that DRF shall not be taken unless with the written authorisation of the Minister for the Environment. For this purpose, the words ‘to take’ means ‘to gather, pluck, cut, pull up, destroy, dig up, remove or injure the flora or to cause or permit the same to be done by any means’. For example, damage by grading or weed spraying constitutes ‘taking’, as does collecting seed or specimens.  There is a penalty of up to $10,000 if any DRF that is taken.



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