why is this important?

Naming council spaces and places after significant local First Peoples, Champions of Change or in Traditional Language is a great way to reinforce the shared history of the municipality. Council places named in Traditional Language, for example Moonee Valley City Council’s ceremonial rock circle ‘Babepal Paen-mirring’, encourages people in the municipality to reflect on the pre-colonial history of the area and the impacts of colonisation. It also helps to create a welcoming and culturally safe environment for First Peoples and the wider community to come together.

Recommended Strategies

  • Consult with Traditional Owners on the use of Language in naming council places.
  • Remunerate Traditional Owners for the use of Language in naming places.
  • Acknowledge, promote, and support local Champions of Change, in consultation with the Champion or their family, by naming Council places after them.
  • Audit council buildings, geographical locations, and places for inappropriate or racist names.
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Case Studies

After a signed petition and campaign from local community members to rename ‘Jim Crow Creek’, Hepburn Shire Council is currently in the process of renaming the creek in Dja Dja Wurrung Language. The renaming process is being conducted with the Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation and the Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.

links & resources

Naming Rules for Places in Victoria | Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Geographic Place Names Act 1998 | Victorian Legislation

Records of Geographic Place Names | Public Record Office Victoria

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