‘A name we can all be proud of’: Moreland Council unveils proposed names

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key point

  • The committee changed its name after voting in favor of a motion to drop Moran’s title, which originated from a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica that used slave labor.
  • The shortlist for the name contains words and phrases from the Viurug language, traditionally spoken by Aboriginal people in central Victoria.
  • they include Hetanbeimeans “update”, Meribeckmeaning “rock country”, and Geranmeaning “leaves of the tree”.

Moran City Council will choose one of three Aboriginal names to be announced this weekend to replace the current title.

The committee changed its name after voting in favor of a motion to drop Moran’s title, which originated from a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica that used slave labor.

The shortlist of proposed names presented to council on a bark on Saturday included words and phrases from the Woi Wurrung language traditionally spoken by Aboriginal people in central Victoria.

they include Hetanbeimeans “update”, Meribeckmeaning “rock country”, and Geranmeaning “leaves of the tree”.

The bark bears three proposed names from Moran City Council.cedit:First People’s Assembly of Victoria

Moran City Council wrote on their Facebook page: “They reflect the importance of the country and culture and respect the opportunity for a journey of reconciliation and recovery that this name change represents.”

Greens Mayor Mark Riley and Wrundjeri Woi Wurrung Heritage Aboriginal Corporation vice-chairman Andrew Gardiner unveiled the proposed new name following a traditional cleaning ceremony at Coburg City Hall.

Gardner stressed the importance of the day for the Moran Aboriginal community to “move forward and reunite with everyone in Australia”.

“We’ve been naming streets and parks for a while now,” Gardner said. “It’s actually a naming committee [away] Coming from racism – we know the name Moreland is a slave name from overseas – this is a huge step forward in our eradication of racism. “

Moran City Council is to change its name after discovering links to Jamaican slave plantations.cedit:Jason South

Riley agreed with Gardner, saying it was “an opportunity to give this multicultural community a name we can all be proud of and start righting the wrongs of European settlement”.

Last year, a motion to change the council’s name by the end of 2022 was passed in a 6-3 vote after a delegation informed Riley and Moreland chief executive Cathy Henderson of the name’s troubling history.

Moreland is the name of a Jamaican sugar cane plantation owned by the Scottish Farquhar McCrae family, which at any point in the decades following its establishment in the 1780s had as many as 700 slaves.

McRae arrived in Melbourne in 1839 and after stripping the Aboriginal owners of a piece of land he had purchased from Moonee Ponds Creek to Sydney Road, he named his family property Moreland. Britain made slavery illegal in 1833.

The name Moreland – also used for a prominent road in Melbourne’s inner north – was assigned to the city council in 1994 as part of the merger of the Kennett government. The area includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Coburg and the Pasco Valley.

Over the next month, the three proposed names will be discussed with residents, with a careful explanation of what each one means to help them make their choice, Riley said.

A senior Aboriginal figure, Gary Murray, said his preference was Meribeck Because it means power.

“I’ve always believed that this is one blood, one earth. We are all human beings, we all have human rights, and we have to protect those. This process, initiated by the City of Moran and the Urunjeri Aboriginal group, is very powerful.”

A name is expected to be formally chosen by July after local residents and members of the Indigenous community have expressed their opinions online or through posts.

Assets such as street and park signs, litter boxes and staff uniforms will be gradually changed within existing budget allocations “and an asset renewal plan over a 10-year time frame,” the council said.

Set aside $250,000 to $500,000 per year for two fiscal years for changes.

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