Noongar names for Albany landmarks

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Noongar names for Albany landmarks will soon be more prominent as part of a project to be rolled out next year.

Aboriginal elder Lester Coyne said he was excited to see the Restoring Noongar Place Names project start.

“I think a lot of people would like to know the history of the land that they lived in,” he said.

“At the end of the day, Aboriginal people is the first Australians who occupied the land, so we’re the best people to tell the story.

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“For example, Noongar people refer to Middleton Beach as Binalup, which means the place of first light, because the sun rises from the beach every morning.”

Other local landmarks being considered for dual naming are Mt Elphinstone, Oyster Harbour and Green Island.

South Coast Natural Resource Management cultural program leader Karen Herlihy organised a workshop last week on the subject and said she was glad to see a great desire for the proposal.

“Since we brought out the first regional strategy in 2002, there’s been a desire from the Noongar community to introduce and recognise Noongar names in Albany landmarks,” she said.

“This recognises and acknowledges that there was a name prior to Western colonisation.

“Within a name is not just a name — there’s meaning and there’s story behind it.

“And it’s important that you don’t lose one name or the other, because there is history with both.”

South Coast NRM will now consult Aboriginal groups to confirm the six Noongar names decided on during the workshop.

Once confirmed, the proposal will be handed to the City of Albany, which will organise dual name signs around town.

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