Hidden Stories from the East Perth Cemeteries

Hidden Stories from the East Perth Cemeteries

Arts & Culture Places
East Perth Cemeteries INSPIRE

To tell the stories that have long been hidden or lost was the goal of writer and PhD candidate, John Toohey.

“If you want to understand the history of a city,” John writes, “visit the museums and the libraries by all means… but first, go to the local cemetery… it is almost accidental the way it reveals a past that official records can’t.”

In 2021, author John Toohey took part in the INSPIRE: Writers in Residency program.

The residency offers opportunities for research, creative and professional development, encourages excellence in writing and nurtures connections to publishers. Funded by the Western Australian State Government and facilitated by the National Trust of Western Australia, the goal of the residency is to provide a unique and inspiring space for writers to explore ideas and produce work with a local focus – generating new Western Australian stories, as well as bringing new interpretation and engagement to the history of the location through rich cultural immersion.

The location John chose was the site of the first official cemetery in the Swan River Colony.

During his residency at East Perth Cemeteries, John developed a series of audio stories inspired by the research he conducted – lifting the lid on tales of power, politics, business and social constructs that shaped the Western Australia we know today.

John Toohey’s podcast series “Cemetery Tales: Hidden Stories from the East Perth Cemeteries” is available to listen online: Cemetery Tales – AUDIOWALKS WA

East Perth Cemeteries is open to the public for guided tours every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets available via the National Trust of Western Australia: East Perth Cemeteries – National Trust

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