Mirning Council of Elders
Mirning Country is the sacred place of the Mirning People and forms a huge yerrambai (rainbow arch) from near Point Culver in Western Australia to near Streaky Bay in South Australia
Mirning Country is the sacred place of the Mirning People from time immemorial. The Yinyila Nation of Mirning clans forms a huge yerrambai, rainbow arch from Point Culver in Western Australia to near Streaky Bay in South Australia, with submerged country roughly along the 33rd parallel south. There is shared country to Point Malcolm in the West and Venus Bay in the East.
We still share our stories from long before the last great sea-level rise, stories of our land country that is now under the Great Australian Bight. When the Dutch sailed along our coast in 1627, they called our country Landt van Pieter Nuyts. Our Elders share memories of how our ancestors met early explorers who came ashore and how they could read their thirst and hunger and so shared water and food in our goonminyera, friendly way.
The Yinyila clans arc around the Nullarbor Plain and the Great Australian Bight. Along the coast west to east from near Point Culver (WA) to near Streaky Bay (SA) are the main clans: Wonunda (WA), Yirkla (WA and SA), Yoolbara (SA) and Cooeyana (SA).
When in-land people came onto our country after colonisation and pre-1900, the names started to change, as they used Wanbari for our Yirkla country and Wirangu for our Yoolbara and Cooeyana country. The anthropologist Norman Tindale in 1927 recorded that the inland Kokatha who had then recently migrated to the coast used the term Wirrangu, which is how this inland name came to be placed on our coastal country.