The Geographical Names Board (GNB) is seeking community feedback on a proposal from Coffs Harbour City Council to name two sportsgrounds as Wiigulga Sports Complex and Solitary Islands Sportsground in the suburb of Woolgoolga.
Acting Chair of the GNB Thomas Grinter said the Board was encouraging community comment before it considers the proposals.
“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed names,” Mr Grinter said.
“Place naming is a recognised way to reawaken, preserve and grow Aboriginal languages.”
In May 2021 the Geographical Names Board considered a proposal by Coffs Harbour City Council to name a reserve located at Solitary Islands Way as Wiigulga Sports Complex.
The word Wiigulga is a Gumbaynggirr language translation of the original name for Woolgoolga, and also refers to the black apple tree which is found locally and on the site.
“Wiigulga” is pronounced “Wee-gill-gah”. Yandaarra Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Coffs Harbour District Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Garlambirla Guuyu Girrwaa Elders Corporation and Aboriginal community members who have a connection to the historical site were consulted with and endorsed the proposed name.
The GNB raised concerns regarding the potential for confusion with the unofficially named Woolgoolga Sportsground located opposite the proposed Wiigulga Sports Complex.
As a result Coffs Harbour City Council proposed to rename Woolgoolga Sports Ground as Solitary Islands Sportsground.
The reserve proposed Solitary Islands Sports Ground is located on Centenary Drive, off Solitary Islands Way, in Woolgoolga.
Solitary Islands Sportsground takes its name from the Solitary Islands Marine Park extending north from Coffs Harbour to Sandon River along about 75 kilometres of coastline.
GNB is seeking feedback to gauge community sentiment for the proposed names.
Suggestions for alternative names is not being sought at this time.
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 Ave, Bathurst, NSW 2795. The closing date for submissions is 14 June 2022.