The Geographical Names Board is seeking community feedback on a proposal by Bathurst Regional Council to dual name the full length of Fish River and Macquarie River as Wambuul.
Chair of the Geographical Names Board, Narelle Underwood, said the Board is committed to reawakening Aboriginal place names.
“Through place naming, communities have the opportunity to unlock past stories, preserve traditions, reawaken language and provide a sense of belonging and identity,” Mrs Underwood said.
“Dual naming supports recognition and revival of Aboriginal languages.
“We want to make sure the local community has an opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed name.”
Fish River commences near Black Springs and runs in a north-west direction through Oberon and Lithgow, before joining the Macquarie River about 8km south of Bathurst.
The Macquarie River flows generally north-west through Bathurst, Cabonne, Dubbo, Narromine, Warren, Coonamble and Walgett, where it joins the Barwon River in Brewarrina.
The Wiradjuri are the largest Aboriginal Nation in New South Wales and are the people of the three Rivers, Wambuul (Macquarie and Fish River), Lachlan River and Murrumbidgee River.
The spelling of Wambuul has been agreed to be consistent with that proposed by Dr Uncle Stan Grant, published in 2005 “A First Wiradjuri Dictionary” compiled by Stan Grant (senior) and Dr John Rudder.
Where a feature has a non-Aboriginal name, an Aboriginal name can be assigned. The name will sit alongside the non-Aboriginal name, each part having equal status.
Once a dual name proposal is assigned, signposts, maps and directories relating to the area will feature both names.
Since June 2001, the NSW Government has supported a dual naming policy for geographical features and cultural sites.
Dual naming does not apply to towns, roads, localities or other administrative based areas such as a reserve or state forest.
Assigning a place name under the Geographical Names Act 1966 does not impact other legislation or change rights or responsibilities.
Details of the proposal can be viewed and submissions lodged on the Geographical Names Board’s website.
Alternatively, written submissions may be mailed to the Secretary, Geographical Names Board, 346 Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, NSW 2795.
The closing date for submissions is 18 July 2021.
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