The Geographical Names Board (GNB) is seeking community feedback on a proposal by Lake Macquarie City Council to name a reserve in the suburb of Cooranbong as Uncle Bill Wirrigan Park.
The reserve is located on the corner of Maguire Drive and Rancher Avenue, Cooranbong.
The name commemorates local Aboriginal Elder Uncle Bill Wirrigan who was an active community member and passionate about protecting the land, the waters and the people.
He was known for his calm but powerful voice and his ability to create opportunities for the broader community to come together and work towards reconciliation and understanding.
One of his many contributions to the community was his involvement in establishing the Newcastle All Blacks, the National Aboriginal Rugby League Association, and the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative.
Known to be a gifted storyteller, Uncle Bill used this gift to both educate and unite communities.
Through the power of narrative, he imparted knowledge about and shared his affection for his Aboriginal culture and heritage.
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 30 November 2023.
Quotes to be attributed to Chair of the Geographical Names Board Narelle Underwood:
"Through place naming, communities have the opportunity to unlock past stories, preserve traditions, reawaken language and provide a sense of belonging and identity.”
"We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed name."
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