Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Moreland celebrates name change

City of Moreland Councillors have come together with members of the Traditional Owner community to officially celebrate a recommendation to change the organisation’s corporate name to Merri-bek.

Following a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony at Glenroy Community Hub at the weekend, a Special Council Meeting took place where Council officially endorsed Merri-bek as the preferred name, leaving behind the current slavery-linked name.

Councillor, Annalivia Carli Hannan said she was delighted by the support expressed by community and the range of considerations that went into preferencing the three name options presented by Wurundjeri Elders. 

“This is a momentous day of celebration, reconciliation and healing for the whole community, who all had an opportunity to participate in this significant process,” Cr Hannan said. 

“I want to sincerely thank the Wurundjeri Elders who provided us with three beautiful name options to consider. Merri-bek has clear support from the community, and we hope to start formally implementing the name later this year, once it is approved by the Minister for Local Government.

“I’m honoured to be standing on Wurundjeri land with our community on this historic day, as we take another step towards reconciliation and healing with Traditional Owners.” 

More than 6,300 community members had their say on the naming options. Merri-bek, meaning ‘rocky country’ was the favourite, supported by 59% of respondents, followed by Jerrang (22%), meaning ‘leaf of tree’, and Wa-dam-buk (13%), meaning ‘renew’. 

Uncle Andrew Gardiner, Deputy Chair of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, said the new name was a great result for the community. 

“The impressive numbers choosing ‘Merri-bek’ is significant and shows the spread of postcodes and demographics – it wasn’t just a cluster who responded,” he said.

“We thank the people for their responses and we are proud to walk with them with their new Council name that reflects the vision of ‘One community, Proudly diverse’, and a Council that backs up its Statement of Commitment with action and respect.” 

The endorsed name recommendation will now be submitted to the Minister for Local Government for consideration, with final approval by Governor in Council. 

It is expected that Council will begin changing its corporate name on digital materials and major signage later this year.

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