Iconic NSW Landmarks Embrace Indigenous Heritage With New Names

  • All Ages

In a move that's lighting up conversations from coffee shops in Surry Hills to surf breaks in Bondi, two of northern NSW’s most iconic landmarks are getting a meaningful makeover.

Say hello to the new (and ancient) names that are bringing local Indigenous culture to the forefront.

Iconic NSW Landmarks Embrace Indigenous Heritage With New Names

Cape Byron Indigenous name
Cape Byron's new Indigenous name is Walgan.

First up, Cape Byron, that Insta-famous eastern tip we all love for its lighthouse selfies and sunrise magic, will now also be known as Walgan. Walgan is a word from the Bundjalung language that translates to 'shoulder' – and if you’ve ever felt the comforting embrace of those coastal views, you'll agree it's a fitting name.

Julian Rocks Indigenous name
Julian Rocks' new Indigenous name is Nguthungulli.

But wait, there’s more. Have you heard of Australia's underwater paradise known as Julian Rocks? Now, give a big, warm welcome to Nguthungulli. This name isn't just beautiful to say; it represents the Father of the World in local lore, adding a layer of spiritual significance to every dive and snorkel in its vibrant waters.

Australia Making Moves to Preserve Indigenous Culture

Fraser Island
Fraser Island became known as K'gari in 2021.

These name changes aren’t just for show. They mark a significant step towards recognising and honouring the area's deep Indigenous roots, particularly for the Arakwal and other Bundjalung people. This land, with its gatherings and ancient ceremonies, is getting the respect and recognition it deserves.

And it’s not just about coastal landmarks. Byron Shire Council is also putting the spotlight on local greenery, naming a reserve in Bangalow as Piccabeen Park, after the local word for the Bangalow palm.

This wave of re-naming, echoing the recent shifts like Fraser Island to K'gari and Magnetic Island to Yunbenun, is all about celebrating and preserving Indigenous language and culture – a movement we’re totally here for.

NSW is also stepping up, with Customer Service Minister Jihad Dib highlighting the importance of place naming in preserving culture and fostering unity. Meanwhile, Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty Minister David Harris reminds us of the unbroken connection the Bundjalung people have to these lands.

So, next time you’re planning a trip up north or sharing a throwback pic, sprinkle in a little local language and history. It’s a small gesture that connects us to the land and each other in the most beautiful way. Let’s embrace these changes and the stories they tell – it’s a journey towards unity and respect we’re all part of.

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