Susie Coen, The Telegraph, July 3, 2023
Australia’s most easterly point could be given an Aboriginal name to improve Indigenous representation.
Cape Byron in New South Wales, which holds Byron Bay’s lighthouse and is a major tourist attraction, could be known as Walgun, meaning “shoulder”.
Meanwhile, Julian Rocks reserve, two small islands 2.5km off the same coastline, could be called Nguthungulli.
The wildlife reserve is a sacred Aboriginal site and is associated with a number of Dreaming stories of the Bundjalung of Byron Bay, Arakwal people.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has submitted dual-name proposals for both landmarks.
They will now undergo a consultation and, if approved, signs, maps and directories will feature both names.
Brent Emmons, who works for Bundjalung of Byron Bay Aboriginal Corporation, told the Guardian it was important to add traditional names to significant sites.
“Pointing to a traditional name in the foreground, European names second, that’s been rolled out across many places, not just here in Australia,” he said. “You’re going to see this on maps, Google Maps, where there’s international access to the points of interest.”
David Harris, the NSW minister for Aboriginal affairs, said “reawakening Aboriginal place names helps to preserve cultural traditions and provide a sense of belonging for all people from all walks of life.”
Jihad Dib, the customer service minister, said the renaming is “one way of demonstrating how you can embrace everyone in the community”.
Delta Kay, a local Bundjalung community leader, told ABC news the move would be a “dream” for local elders.
“I am thrilled and it has been a long time coming,” Ms Kay said.
“It has been a dream of my family members, who have pushed for Native Title since 2004.”
There are around 45 dual names across NSW including Ayers Rock, which was given the joint name Ayers Rock/Uluru in 1993.
In 2002 the names were reversed at the request of the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs and the rock took on the official name of Ayers Rock/Uluru. In 2020, following the Black Lives Matter protests, Western Australia renamed the King Leopold Ranges, named after the colonial Belgium monarch, the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges, using both the Ngarinyin and Bunuba names for the area.