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Whitmore Square / Ivaritji

Whitmore Square / Iparrityi

Whitmore Square / Ivaritji is one of six public squares in the City of Adelaide.

photo-icon Iparrityi
photo-icon William Wolryche Whitmore
photo-icon Aerial view of Whitmore Square, City of Adelaide Archives, , 3554ITEM0605, 6 July 1962

Iparrityi (also spelt as Ivaritji), which means "a gentle misty rain", was a legendary Kaurna woman born in Port Adelaide, probably in the latter half of the 1840s. When she died in 1929, she was almost certainly the last person of full Kaurna ancestry and the last original speaker of the language.

Her father was Ityamai-itpina, one of the leaders of the Kaurna people (known in the early days of white settlement as the Adelaide Tribe) whose principal water hole was the lake in (the now) Botanic Gardens known as Kainka Wirra. Her mother was Tangkaira from what became known as the Clare district.

Early in her life, as Adelaide's population grew, Iparrityi and her family moved to Clarendon, living a semi-nomadic life in the surrounding hills. She also lived at Point McLeay for some time before moving to Point Pearce where many people of Kaurna descent lived. Iparrityi was described as being highly respected, intelligent, with an interesting personality and a keen sense of humour. She became well known to anthropologists to whom she provided valuable information about the Kaurna people, their language and customs.

The European name for this Square recognises William Wolryche Whitmore, a British Member of Parliament who introduced the South Australia Foundation Act to the British House of Commons. The "union jack" path layout and overall park configuration have not changed since the Square was established as part of the plan for Adelaide.

The "Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout" is included on the National Heritage List. Adelaide was designed and laid out by Colonel William Light in 1837, creating the only City in the world completely surrounded by Park Lands.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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