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Government NSW

Have your say on a dual name for Macdonald River

The NSW Department of Customer Service 2 mins read

The Geographical Names Board (GNB) is seeking community feedback on a proposal to dual name the Macdonald River as Ganangdayi.

Macdonald River starts on the eastern slopes of Mellong Range, about nine kilometres northwest by west of Kindarun Mountain.

It flows for approximately 120 kilometres into the Hawkesbury River at Wisemans Ferry.

The proposed Aboriginal name, Ganangdayi, means ‘rainbow place’ in Darkinjung/Darug language and is recorded as the traditional name for the Macdonald River in John McGarvie’s ‘List of Native Names for Places on the Hawkesbury River’ (1829).

Through the public consultation process the community is encouraged to have a say on the proposed name and its spelling. Suggestions for alternative names are not being sought at this time.

Where a geographical 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. Through place naming, communities have the opportunity to unlock past stories, preserve traditions, reawaken language and provide a sense of belonging and identity.

Dual naming does not apply to towns, roads, localities or other administrative based areas such as a reserve or state forest. Assigning a dual name to a feature or place does not impact other legislation or change rights or responsibilities.

The Geographical Names Register currently holds 45 dual names since the policy was established.

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 1 December 2023.


Quotes to be attributed to Chair of the Geographical Names Board, Narelle Underwood:

“Dual naming supports recognition and revival of Aboriginal languages and we want to make sure the local community has an opportunity to provide their feedback.”

“The Geographical Names Board will reach out to relevant Local Aboriginal Land Councils, local government councils and National Parks seeking endorsement for the proposal.”


Contact details:

media@customerservice.nsw.gov.au | 0438 108 797 

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