The Bull Paddock

Banner Credit: Claise Brook, 1993. (State Library of Western Australia) 

Long before European colonisation, Noongar people camped and hunted near the freshwater spring at Claisebrook/Goongoongup.  

Before its redevelopment in the late 1990s, Claisebrook was a swampy area known as the ‘Bull Paddock’ named after ‘Brown’s Bull Paddock’ where early colonists grazed and kept their bulls separate from cows. Tucked away outside of Perth’s Prohibited Area, the Bull Paddock became a hidden place for Aboriginal people to gather. 

The whole area around Claisebrook and the old Bunno Bridge was a popular camping and meeting place for Aboriginal people who also called it the ‘Starlight Hotel’. This name was also used to describe other places where homeless Aboriginal people camped out and slept under the stars.


Ron Gidgup Snr

John Pell 

Shirley Harris


An article about 'starlighters’ (Aboriginal campers) on the river at East Perth in 1981. The photographs show a makeshift camp near Claisebrook in 1981.  Photograph by Alan Rowe for The West Australian, June 11 1981.  

Swan River from the abbatoir, 1862 (State Library of Western Australia)

Strereograph of Claise Brook, 1861 (State Library of Western Australia) 

The Claisebrook area after its redevelopment in 1997 (State Library of Western Australia)