Googong landmarks receive new Aboriginal names
Four prominent landmarks in the new township of Googong have been given Aboriginal names in recognition of the area’s Indigenous heritage which dates back more than 20,000 years.
Representatives of the Ngunawal people performed a traditional welcome to country and cleansing ceremony with didgeridoo accompaniment on Thursday 16 November 2017 to formalise the naming process.
The new names have been selected by the Ngunawal people in their traditional language and have recently been approved by the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and gazetted by the NSW State Government.
The ceremony was a colourful spectacle and an opportunity to acknowledge the region’s Indigenous community and rich Aboriginal history.
The basis of the ceremony (circle of life) was to connect the Googong community with the land. Guests were required to take off their shoes as part of the experience.
About the ceremony
Googong Chairman, Mr James Service, said the Googong development team had been working closely with the Ngunawal people for the past two years to name the landmarks.
This ceremony recognises the rich history we share with the people who lived here before us – particularly the Ngunawal people whose connection to this land dates back 20,000 years – further than most of us can comprehend... Aboriginal place names have only been assigned to key locations where the names make a meaningful connection with Aboriginal habitation and use of the Googong land. They are one way we are educating residents and visitors about the importance of the land and the contribution of our local Indigenous community.
The Ngunawal people are the traditional custodians of the Googong site and we are grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to share this memorable occasion.
The cleansing ceremony took place at Yerradhang Nguru, or Gum Tree Camp, which is the first destination along the new Googong Common walking trails - or Bunburung Thina.
The Common includes a nine kilometre long network of recreation trails and open space that follows the creek and chain of ponds through the centre of the new town. The Common will be progressively developed over the next 10 years creating a major sporting and recreation hub for the wider community with five sports fields, an indoor sports centre, netball complex, tennis centre, major regional playground, smaller playgrounds and community gardens.
The new Ngunawal place names are: