Ellensbrook at Mokidup
The Wadandi name for the location of this historic homestead is Mokidup. It was a traditional summer camping spot for thousands of years, and the recent involvement of Wadandi people in the conservation and interpretation of this site brings a valuable, and refreshing, holistic perspective to the telling of its history. The presence of the Wadandi people is established from the moment you start walking along the entrance pathway, with a welcome statement and imagery, created by renowned Aboriginal artist Sandra Hill. Embedded in the path is Ellen Bussell’s quote, from 1857: “It is a pretty hilly country by the sea where there is health in the breeze”, a statement which still perfectly describes the place. Alfred Bussell named the spring-fed brook Ellen’s Brook after his wife, and the Wadandi people know it as Meekadariby. This was a vital source of water for the Wadandi people and for the Bussell family. The fresh water enabled Ellen and Alfred Bussell to establish a farm, producing beef, butter and cheese, and to grow a productive garden. In the early 20th century Ellensbrook was a key part of the tourism industry, hosting visitors to ‘Cave Country.’ The interwoven history of the Wadandi people and the Bussell family is told on the wall and floor surfaces of the buildings and the post and rail fence. Take time to explore the site to ‘hear’ the different voices tell their stories.