Joondalup is situated in Mooro country which incorporates land as far north as Moore River, Ellen’s Brook on the East, the sea to the West and the Swan River to the South. It is a portion of land within the North Swan Coastal Plain.
The original inhabitants of this area were the Oor-dal-kalla people, the family group of Yellagonga, a prominent Aboriginal elder highly regarded in Nyoongar culture. It is from the Oor-dal-kalla people that Joondalup derives its name. The Nyoongar word is Doondalup and it means ‘the lake that glistens’.
Prior to European settlement Lake Joondalup provided a rich supply of food as well as inspiration for Nyoongar spiritual and ritual beliefs and practices, embodied in the ‘Dreaming’. The Dreaming recounts the myths and origins of life and explains the affinity Aboriginal people have with the land (Brittain 1990). See Joondalup Mooro Boodjar for further information on Nyoongar Dreaming.
European settlement saw the establishment of market gardens, piggeries, poultry farms and vineyards near and around Lake Joondalup. The coastal suburbs were small holiday spots where families would go to fish and swim during the summer. Infrastructure and roads within the region were limited.
In the 1970s, the State Government developed a vision for a commercial, civic and cultural hub in Perth’s northern corridor. The plan for a self-sustainable community, that was supported by public transport and reduced its effect on the delicate environment, was well ahead of its time.
Joondalup was the first new town in Australia to be designed along the three line principle, which planned for economic, social and environment sustainability.
Joondalup Development Corporation
The Joondalup Development Corporation was created in the 1980s stating its mission: "to create a community of which Western Australians can be proud - a community integrated with the natural resources of Joondalup, while providing the amenities required of modern living with land prices within reach of the average buyer."
In the 1980s and 1990s, residential suburbs were developed around the City. A lot of the area was held under mineral leases for limestone quarries and the suburbs were designed to fit in the old quarries. Connolly and the Joondalup Golf Course was one of the major developments on the old quarry sites.