Victoria to Rename Offensive Place Names Honoring Indigenous People Murdered in Colonial Era

Victoria, Australia renames offensive colonial-era place names to honor Indigenous history and promote reconciliation, as part of a broader effort to restore Indigenous language and acknowledge past atrocities.

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Victoria to Rename Offensive Place Names Honoring Indigenous People Murdered in Colonial Era

Victoria to Rename Offensive Place Names Honoring Indigenous People Murdered in Colonial Era

Victoria, Australia is taking steps to rename offensive place names associated with the violent history of colonization and mistreatment of Indigenous people. Moyne Shire is leading the charge by renaming Lubra Creek to Thanampool Thookay Creek, which means "women and children" in the Dhauwurd Wurrung language, to honor the Indigenous people murdered there in 1842.

Gunditjmara man Richard Frankland calls these places his "pilgrimages" and believes it's time to "humanize" them with Indigenous names. Other offensive place names like Murderers Flat and Convincing Ground are also being examined for renaming. "It's time to humanize these places and give them a name that reflects the true history of what happened there," Frankland said.

The Glenelg Shire is conducting an audit of place names, monuments, and plaques that overrepresent early European settlers and underrepresent First Nations and female names. The audit found a significant under-representation of Indigenous and female names, prompting calls for change.

Why this matters: The renaming of offensive place names is part of a broader effort to restore Indigenous language and respectful names to places where atrocities occurred during the colonial era. It acknowledges the shared history of the land and honors the Indigenous people who were murdered or mistreated.

The Yoorrook Justice Commission is also examining these issues as part of its truth-telling inquiry into historical wrongs against Indigenous people in Victoria. Premier Jacinta Allan is set to appear before the commission later this month to address the state's frontier history and the ongoing efforts to restore Indigenous language and names.

Frankland emphasizes the importance of these renaming efforts, stating, "It's about acknowledging the true history of these places and honoring the Indigenous people who lost their lives there. It's a step towards healing and reconciliation." The renaming of Lubra Creek to Thanampool Thookay Creek serves as a powerful example of this commitment to restoring Indigenous language and respectfully remembering the past.

Key Takeaways

  • Victoria, Australia is renaming offensive place names linked to colonial violence.
  • Lubra Creek renamed to Thanampool Thookay Creek to honor Indigenous victims.
  • Glenelg Shire auditing place names to increase Indigenous and female representation.
  • Yoorrook Justice Commission examining historical wrongs against Indigenous people.
  • Renaming efforts aim to acknowledge history and promote healing and reconciliation.