Lake Mac leads way with dual naming cultural facilities

Published on 15 October 2021

Speers Point Library.jpg

Lake Macquarie has become one of the first cities in Australia to dual name all cultural facilities with both an Awabakal and English name.

The dual naming now features on Lake Macquarie’s Museum of Art and Culture, yapang, all Lake Mac Libraries branches, Warners Bay and Rathmines theatres and the newly-opened Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima at Speers Point.

Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said the dual names were developed in consultation with Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre, referring to sites, places, events and objects of significance to local Aboriginal people.

“Miromaa provided their expertise and traditional knowledge of the cultural and historical background of each cultural facility, and the local area they sit within,” Ms Hemsley said.

“Introducing dual names will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about local Indigenous history and culture.”

Miromaa Aboriginal Language Centre spokesman Liam Price said dual naming also raised awareness that there were names for places well before European settlement.

“Involving language brings together a stronger community, as language is about identity,” Mr Price said.

“To bring people closer to the history of Lake Macquarie means we are owning our history and understanding our home, Awaba.”

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said it was fantastic to see the city leading the way for cultural recognition.

“We are proud of our local Aboriginal history and culture in Lake Mac, and we are thankful to be able to bring this to the community,” Cr Fraser said.

Training will be provided to all customer service staff within Council cultural facilities to help with pronunciation and understanding.

Dual names

Lake Mac Libraries: Kawumalyikilba – meaning “gathering place”

Edgeworth Library: Kirantakamyari – meaning “north creek”

Speers Point Library: Milyaba – meaning “fun place” (traditional name of area)

Cardiff Library: Kuram – meaning “winding creek” (traditional name)

Charlestown Library: Walyamayi – meaning “top camp”

Windale Library: Bilyabayi – meaning “valley”

Redhead Community Library: Bunjibanyal – meaning “sunrise”

Toronto Library: Tirrabiyangba – meaning “father’s tooth place” (another traditional name of area)

Belmont Library: Ngarrabangba – meaning “change place” (first Aboriginal mission in Australia. The place that changed the local people)

Wangi Library Creative Hub: Wanji Wanji – traditional name

Swansea Library: Kariyawangba – meaning “southwards”

Morisset Library: Bawarramalang – traditional name of area (duckhole creek)

Warners Bay Theatre: Baramayiba – meaning “cockle place” (Originally ‘Cockle Bay’)
Rathmines Theatre: Nawayiba – meaning “canoe place” (referencing the scarred trees used to make canoes

Museum of Art and Culture: yapang – meaning “journey or pathway”

Multi-Arts Pavilion: mima – meaning “cause to stay”

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