My first document

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birunbirun centred design

Georgia Brashaw

acknowledgement of Country

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Country on which this assignment was created, the Whadjuk Noongar People. I pay my respect to their Elders past and present. I acknowledge their continued connection and responsibilty to Country.

I am a wadjela, a settler, on unceded Noongar Boodjar.

Country is inextricable with the landscapes that we design. I acknowledge that there was no paid consultation with Whadjuk Noongar Elders as part of this folio. Lack of Indigenous engagement has resulted in an incomplete design process. References to Country have been sourced from literature and online resources. Thank you to the people who have shared their knowledge.

“In the Aboriginal world view, everything starts and ends with Country. Yet there are no beginnings in this world, nor are there any endings. Everything is part of a continuum, an endless flow of life and ideas emanating from Country, which is often referred to as the Dreaming” (Neale, 2021, 1).

I acknowledge that First Nations knowledge systems have existed in Australia for thousands of years. More-than-human design exists in the form of Custodianship for Country.

More-than-human design has been described as design in which “human interests are neither excluded nor the centre of concern, and non-human agency is actively engaged in the desing process” (LA+ Journal, 2020).

The client for my folio is the birunbirun bird. Also known as Merops ornatus or commonly as the Rainbow Bee-eater.

Jirdarup is a piece of remnant banksia woodland situated between the City of South Perth and Victoria Park. This place is known habitat of the birunbirun.

Jirdarup means ‘the place of birds’ in Whadjuk Noongar language. ‘Place of birds’ has been a reference point for this process.


• community engagement

• ornathologist engagement

• case studies of Victoria Park verge gardens

• biotope mapping

• group work

• transect through site

• acknowledging a non-human centric gaze

• research

• site visit

• precedents

• mapping opportunities and constraints

• defining the problem

• birunbirun umwelt

• community engagement

• data collection from aerial imagery

• site visit

• scenarios for fixing the problem

• ongoing research and mapping

• jury feedback

• shape file data collection from City of Victoria Park

• community engagement

• site visit

• creating empathy for the birunbirun

• testing and developing scenarios

• refining strategy

• choosing focus areas

• resilience buffers as the ‘big idea’

• typologies

• planting palettes and remediation processes

• shape file data collection from City of South Perth

• community engagement

• ‘Bassendean Sands’ education session

• ‘Rewild Perth’ education session

• drawings in multiple forms and scales

• community engagement

• site visit

• sharing progress with peers and tutor

1. Analysis 3. Design development 4. Design communication 5. Reassessment & feedback
2. Strategy

The banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain have become fragmented and severely degraded from ongoing urbanisation post-colonisation

Within 50 kilometres of Boorloo CBD, one third of the original banksia woodland remains. Jirdarup forms part of the mosaic of remnant bushland. This is a known breeding site of the birunbirun.

N the site 100km 0
Current banksia woodland extent Precolonial banksia woodland extend Swan Coastal Plain

Kwongkan is the Noongar term for the sand plain vegetation community that exists at Jirdarup. Banksia woodlands are mostly made up of medium to large shrubs, perennial and annual herbs. Invertebrates outnumber vertebrates and contribute to the woodland ecology. Invertebrates are the food source for the birunbirun.



Transect of site through a non-human perspective.

Priscilla Hubbard Priscilla Hubbard Priscilla Hubbard Priscilla Hubbard Saki White-Sugito Emma Maher Emma Maher Emma Maher Emma Maher Emma Maher Sachini Kothalawala Sachini Kothalawala
1:1 birunbirun

lives in the open forests of banksia woodlands


international migration

migrates to Boorloo during djilba and kambarang for breeding season

darts around sharply in flight

underground burrow to breed

waits on a perch looking for prey then returns to perch to thrash their catch and dispel stinger


around Boorloo

Yanchep National Park


Yellagonga Regional Park

Lake Gwelup

Herdman’s Lake

Baigup Wetlands

Bold Park

Bardon Park

Kings Park

Sister Kate’s Bush Block


Mosman Park Bushland


Salter Point

Wireless Hill Park

North Lake

Bibra Lake

Manning Park

Bungedore Park

The birunbirun is mostly sited around remant vegetation, bushland parks and lakes. Fragmentation around Boorloo continues to destroy their habitat.

0 100km
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 15 12 16 13 17 14 18 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 15 12 16 13 17 14 18 19
N 1:1000 diminishing habitat



Derbarl Yerrigan

Permeable surfaces Potential breeding habitat

N 1:10000
clay limestone sand sand
1 1 2 2


Exernal pressures on remnant bushland


Verge gardens as revegetation opportunity

Permeable surfaces

Potential breeding habitat

Potential urban infill as per zoning

N 1:5000
2 2 2
urban infill
1 1 2
KARIB URUNUB EJD R A N MAKURA DJILBA KAMB A R A N G Food Sandy soils Healthy community Safe open space Open woodland Migration Warm dry weather Water source Perches Understorey design principles What the birunbirun requires to breed and feed.
N 1:4000 master plan 1:1000 @ A2 resilience buffers Supportive vegetation Permeability Known breeding site Potential breeding site Revegetation potential Typologies Recreate Reclaim Rehabilitate

restoration typologies




Suburban living is right on the door step of Jirdarup.

Suburbia is severely degraded, there is nothing left to restore.

Recreation is a process of reconstructing suburbia with the birunbirun at the centre of design.

This form of restoration is not claiming to be that of the original kwongkan.

Layers of understorey

The ‘sandpit’, an old sand quarry and unregulated tip, is a contaminated site. Reclaimation is a process required to restore this typology to a safe place for the birunbirun. Soil stabilisation, revegetation, pollutant removal, aesthetic improvement and public safety are required.

Convert some residential housing to restoration hub buildings for seed storage and processing.

Bitumised corridors create harsh borders around Jirdarup.

Rehabilitation is returning some but not all of the ecosystem back to a previous form. The focus is on ecosystem services, rather than biodiversity. This process creates ecological corridors to connect Jirdarup to the surrounding suburbs.

Defer urban heat island effect


Water sensitive urban design Community

Top soil transplant

Tube stock planting

plant stock
monitoring and assessment
health outcomes for people Verge garden guides and incentives
Green infrastructure Free

master plan

N 1:1000
Jirdarup remnant vegetation Bird hide Previosuly contaminated site Ephemeral wetland Sports oval Previously bituminised Kent St Conservation and restoration hub Residential ‘Breeding block’ vacant residential block Vehicle traffic road Elevated boardwalk Bitumen stabilised limestone path Proposed trees Existing trees Entry points to board walk Circular seating nodes
KentSt 12m 10m 14m 14m 16m 17m 18m 19m 20m 21m 22m 23m 14m 14m 14m 16m 20m 18m 18m EtwellSt Harold Rossiter Park 16m 17m 21m 20m 18m 17m 18m 16m 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 14 A A B B C C D D E E F F 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
KentSt JarrahRd

Existing trees

Proposed trees

Concrete pedestrian footpath

Car bays to replace driveways

Ground cover gardening bed edging

Garden bed with plants to 750mm

Dead tree trunk as perching spot

Bitumen stabilised limestone pedestrian footpath

N 1:200 recreate Restoration typology Location Design principles met EtwellSt AshburtonSt 14m
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 8 7 5 6 7 8

plants that are less than 750mm at full height as per Victoria Park street verge guide

insect attracting tree Nuytsia floribunda takes 20 years to grow from seed to maturity

private front gardens merge with public open sapce

street lamp with light that minimises harm to insects

narrower path to front door bitumen stabilised limestone path

vacant block recreated as a ‘breeding block’

dead wood for birunbirun to perch whilst on the lookout for insect prey and to assess if burrow is safe to fly to

Adenanthos cygnorum

Amphipogon turbinatus

Austrostipa compressa

Banksia attenuata

Conostylis aculeata

Daviesia nudiflora

Eremophila glabra prostrate

Eucalyptus todtiana

Lomandra hermaphrodita

Nuytsia floribunda

Petrophile linearis

Pheladenia deformis

Poranthera microphylla

Scaevola canescens

Scaevola repens

Stylidium schoenoides

Thelymitra graminea

Plant palette Location

underground burrow for breeding

1:100 recreate 1:5 A
bankisa tap roots Bassendean Sands soils complex

Agonis flexuosa

Anigozanthos manglesii

Banksia blechnifolia

Banksia ilicifolia

Banksia menziesii

Banksia menziessi

Banksia petiolaris

Billardiera fusiformis

Callistemon ‘Matthew Flinders’

Calothamnus quadrifidus prostrate

Casuarina obesa

Chrysocephalum baxteri

Conostylis aculeata

Corymbia ficifolia

Dampiera linearis

Dampiera teres

Dianella revoluta

Dryandra nivea

Eremophila glabra prostrate

Eucalyptus platypus

Frankenia pauciflora

Gompholobium tomentosum

Grevillea crithmifolia prostrate

Hakea laurina

Hemiandra pungens glabra

Kennedia prostrate

Leucophyta brownii

Lomandra cylindrica ‘Lime Wave’

Melaleuca leucadendra

Ophiopogon japonicus nanus Plant

dead wood for birunbirun to perch whilst on the lookout for insect prey

birunbirun safe flight path

tree species as per Victoria Park street verge guide

private front gardens merge with public open sapce

bassendean sands soils complex

car ports with Ophiopogon japonicus nanus growing bewtween pavers

bitumen stabilised limestone path

bankisa tap roots ecological corridor

plants under 750mm at full height as per Victoria Park street verge guide

1:100 recreate B
palette Location Before
Perspective of the birunbirun, outlook of a ‘breeding block’ in suburbia. Using vacant residential blocks for birunbirun breeding ground.
N 1:200 reclaim 14m 14m 14m 16m 15m 17m 18m 19m 20m 21m 16m Restoration typology Location Design principles met
Bird hide Polished concrete seating Jirdarup bushland Mesh intervals along boardwalk Dead tree trunk as perching spot Reclaimed contaminated site Proposed tress
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Elevated wooden boardwalk

Adiantum aethiopicum

Agonis flexuosa

Banksia ilicifolia

Centella asiatica

Ficinia nodosa

Hibbertia stellaris

Juncus kraussii

Juncus pallidus

Lomandra caespitosa

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla

Ottelia ovalifolia

Schoenus lanatus

Thysanotus manglesianus

Xanthosia huegelii

dead tree trunk for birunbirun to perch whilst on the lookout for insect prey

birunbirun catches prey above the waters surface

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla and Banksia ilicifolia prefer low lying areas

no access to human foot traffic

water purification through plant systems

increased insect community through ephemeral wetland

Sands soils complex

1:50 reclaim C
Location Before
Plant palette

Acacia pulchella

Adenanthos cygnorum

Allocasuarina humilis

Amphipogon turbinatus

Amphipogon turbinatus

Austrostipa flavescens

Banksia attenuate

Banksia menziesii

Banksia menziessi

Briza maxima

Burchardia congesta

Caladenia flava

Conostephium pendulum

Conostylis juncea

Conysa bonariensis

Corymbia calophylla

Dasypogon bromeliifolius

Diuris brumalis

Drosera huegelii

Eremaea pauciflora

Eucalyptus marginata

Hibbertia huegelii

Jacksonia furcellata

Jacksonia furcellata

Jacksonia lehmannii

Kennedia furcellata

Leptospermum spinescens

Lomandra hermaphrodita

Macrozamia riedlei

Pterostylis recurva

Scaevola repens

Xanthorrhoea brunonis

Xanthorrhoea preissi

larger trees are better suited to public open space than verges

bird hide minimises disturbance of camera shutters to breeding birds

elevated boardwalk allows for pedestrians to gain perspective of tree height

dead tree trunk for birunbirun to perch whilst on the lookout for insect prey

elevated boardwalk allows flora and fauna to pass under

Bassendean Sands soils complex appropriate for birunbirun to dig burrow

soil transplant from another banksia woodland site holds seed bank

1:100 reclaim D
Plant palette Location Before
Perspective of the birunbirun, outlook of the reclaimed ‘sandpit’. A new ecological corridor connecting Jirdarup to the suburb.

Exisitng trees

Proposed trees

Polished concrete seating

Corten steel border

Seating node bordered with small shrubs and flowers

Dead tree trunk for perching

Damp land planting in low lying areas

Ground covers lining path

Taller shrubs in garden beds

Exclusive pedestrian access replaces bitumen road

Reclaimed contaminated site

Restoration hub buildings, previously residential Informal path to restoration hub buildings

N 1:200 rehabilitate 21m 20m 21m 17m 16m 16m 17m 18m 17m 18m 17m 16m 19m Restoration typology Location Design principles met
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 1 2 3 4 11 12 13 5 6 7 8 9 10


polished concreate seating at circular node

ecological corridor connecting Jirdarup to the suburb

previously a bitumen road, this pedestrian only corridor acts as a resilience buffer to Jirdarup

circular node with a compacted earth base that differs in colour to main footpath, creating a sense of place

safe flight path for birunbirun from Jirdarup through to ‘breeding block’

Acacia pulchella

Acacia willdenowiana

Allocasuarina fraseriana

Allocasuarina humilis

Austrostipa flavescens

Austrostipa semibarbata

Banksia attenuata

Banksia ilicifolia

Banksia menziesii

Dianella revoluta

Eucalyptus marginata

Eucalyptus todtiana

Grevillea crithmifolia prostrate

Hemiandra pungens

Lepidosperma squamatum

Leucophyta brownii

Leucopogon parviflorus

Lomandra cylindrica ‘Lime Wave’

Macrozamia riedlei

Neurachne alopecuroidea

Olearia lanuginosa ‘Ghost Town’

Patersonia occidentalis

Persoonia saccata

Rytidosperma caespitosum

Scaevola repens

Schoenus lanatus

Xanthorrhoea preissii

bitumen stabilised limestone path

informal plant edging at circular node to create soft edge

bassendean sands soils complex

low lying area planted with damp land plant mix as in ephemeral wetland

palette Location Before


ramp access to elevated wooden boardwalk with railing

polsihed concrete seating at circular node

dense planting as resilience buffer to Jirdarup

circular node with a compacted earth base that differs in colour to main footpath, creating a sense of place

Agonis flexuosa

Anigozanthos humilis

Anigozanthos manglesii

Astroloma pallidum

Austrostipa semibarbata

Banksia attenuata

Banksia illicifolia

Banksia menziessi

Chrysocephalum baxteri

Dianella revoluta

Grevillea crithmifolia prostrate

Grevillea preissii

Leptomeria cunninghamii

Leucophyta brownii

Thryptomene saxicola

informal plant edging at circular node to create soft edge

interpretive signage on birunbirun and dieback shoe cleaning station

Location Before
Plant palette
Bassendean Sands soils complex
A sense of place is created at one of the entrance nodes to the elevated boardwalk.

ecological restoration strategy

Adapt as needed

• titrate the plan

• monitor the response of the site

• monitor the response of the birunbirun

• irrigation in first two years

Manage the disturbance

• decrease land use disturbance

• smart urban density

• stop clearing of banksia woodland

• phytoremediation

• remove bitumen


• use of Friends of Jirdarup volunteer time

• film, photography

• mapping

• surveys

• school curriculum

Implement the plan

• across multiple locations over time

• community involvement

• permeable roads

• revegetation

• verge planting guidelines

• multidisciplinary approach to design (Elders, landscape architects, engineers, community members, ecologists, hortoculturalists, stake holders)

Define the target

• percentage of ‘breeding blocks’ per square kilometre

• design principles meeting the needs of the birubirun

• community education

• encourage residents to blend their private gardens with public space

Trial the method

• pilot projects

• implement buffers zone over time

• top soil transplant

• seed bank sourcing, storage, germination, propagation

community engagement opportunities


• primary school

• high school

• university

• residential

• across ages, across genders, across disciplines

• culturally relevant landscapes

Seed source

• seed sourcing in verge gardens

• propagation efforts

• seed storage and germination

• direct seeding

• soil profiling

• weed management


• surveys

• community discussion

• Q+A sessions

• social events

• assess social impact of change


• recognition

• advocacy

• improved mental health

• sense of place


• ecosystem services

• phone apps

• schools

• planting days

• building habitat days

• universities

• workplaces


• verge garden guidelines

• free plants from local government

• subsidised design and development for sustainable urban infill

1:1 birunbirun


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