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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.

"Googong consults with ten different Aboriginal groups on development matters. It is an essential part of our program to identify, preserve and protect the area’s history and cultural heritage," he said.
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:

Bunburung Thina

Current name
Googong Common
 
Ngunawal name
Bunburung Thina
 
Meaning
Small lizard track

Nangi Pimble

Current name
Hill 800
 
Ngunawal name
Nangi Pimble
 
Meaning
See the district / Look at the district

Yerradhang Nguru

Current name
Gumnut Park
 
Ngunawal name
Yerradhang Nguru
 
Meaning
Gum Tree Camp/ Gum Tree Place

Munnagai Woggabaliri

Current name
Montgomery Rise park
 
Ngunawal name
Munnagai Woggabaliri
 
Meaning
Come and play

About Googong

Googong is a rapidly growing masterplanned community located 16 kilometres from Canberra’s Parliament House, inside the New South Wales border and adjacent to Googong Dam. Over the next 15 years, Googong will deliver 6,200 homes and a population of around 18,000 people with all the facilities of a self-contained township. Almost 25 per cent of the development land is reserved for public open space and conservation areas. Googong is a joint project by leading Australian residential land developers Peet Limited and Mirvac. 
 
 

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