City of Joondalup history

Joondalup is situated in Mooro country which incorporates land as far north as Moore River, Ellenbrook in 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 Noongar culture. It is from the Oor-dal-kalla people that Joondalup derives its name. The Noongar word is Doondalup and it means ‘the lake that glistens’.

‘Noongar Dreaming’

Prior to European settlement Lake Joondalup provided a rich supply of food as well as inspiration for Noongar 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). For further information on Noongar Dreaming view the Joondalup Mooro Boodjar eBook.

European settlement

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.

20-year anniversary

In July 2018, the City proudly celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Since 1 July 1998, the City of Joondalup has grown steadily and blossomed.There have been many dedicated people and groups who have played major roles in the success and development of the City. Over the past 20 years the people of Joondalup have brought the City to life, with many varied voluntary groups, sporting and cultural organisations making it the vibrant and diverse place it is today. The City is striving for excellence, providing outstanding services and facilities to its community and is on an exciting journey to implement policies, strategies and initiatives that will see Joondalup continue to grow as a vibrant regional centre. The City is dedicated to ensuring it continues as a strong leader and trendsetter in Local Government in WA and into the future.

Corporate graphic

City of Joondalup logo
The City of Joondalup corporate graphic combines the imagery of the built and natural environments – the grid structure and the leaf pattern. The floral shape is derived from the local native cycad, commonly known as the Zamia Palm, emerging from the grid pattern, representing the planned city that is Joondalup.

The corporate graphic was designed by Landcorp and adopted by the City to represent a community in harmony with its natural and the built environment.