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Renaming of Mount Eccles National Park as Budj Bim National Park - Discussion Paper
Monday 20 February, 2012
‘Ngootyoong Gunditj, Ngootyoong Mara’
South West Management Plan
Why rename Mount Eccles National Park
as Budj Bim National Park?
(download a PDF from the Resources page)
Mount Eccles National Park is named after the roughly conical shaped peak, Mount Eccles, which is a major feature of the park. The 178 metre peak is an inactive volcano comprising a scoria hill and a series of volcanic vents. Major Thomas Mitchell named the peak Mount Eeles in 1836 after William Eeles of the 95th Regiment of Foot, who fought with Mitchell in the Peninsular War. A drafting error altered the name to Mount Eccles around 1845 (Learmonth 1970).
Mount Eccles National Park is co-managed by the State and the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners through a Cooperative Management Agreement, which forms part of the 2007 Native Title Settlement between the Victorian Government and the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners. The Budj Bim Council was formed as a result of this agreement to oversee the co-management of Mt Eccles National Park.
The Gunditjmara Traditional Owners are seeking to change the name of the Mount Eccles National Park to Budj Bim National Park. The name of the peak itelf will remain unchanged.
Budj Bim is a Gunditjmara dreaming story handed down through many generations. Gunditjmara people witnessed Budj Bim, the creator, reveal himself in the landscape, his forehead is the mountain and the stones are his teeth. Thousands of years ago this lava flow from the mountain bubbled across more than 50 kilometres of land, travelled west and south to the sea, and dramatically altered the drainage pattern of the land creating new wetlands and rivers. This lava flow is very important to the Gunditjmara people because it created an opportunity to build a vast and complex aquaculture network. This area is known as the Budj Bim. It is also a National Heritage Landscape, included on the National Heritage List in 2004.
At a meeting of Budj Bim Council in 2010, the Council moved and carried the following motion: ‘Write to the Victorian Place Name committee to recommend a name change from Mount Eccles to Budj Bim’ (Meeting Minutes, 27/10/10).
Renaming the park to Budj Bim National Park would respect the views of the Gundjitmara, the Traditional Owners of the area. The use of traditional Aboriginal words and names for parks or park features can contribute to both the visitor experience and the development of mutually respectful relationships. However, it is important to recognise that current names of parks or park features can also have much significance to the local and broader community.
Place names are an important part of a place’s cultural heritage, and an indicator of cultural and social values attached to the place. Most, if not all the names of topographical, cultural and other features in parks were adopted long before the parks were declared. Some names commemorate people or events associated with exploration, settlement or use of the land. Other names are derived from Aboriginal history or culture, or from the history of a park.
The Guidelines for Geographic Place Names 2010 (DSE 2010), and Parks Victoria draft Guideline for Place Names emphasise the importance of comprehensive community consultation when proposing new place names or changes to existing place names. It is essential that any proposals to rename places are consistent with the principles contained in the guidelines
The naming or renaming of geographic places is done in accordance with the Geographic Places Names Act 1998 (Vic.) and the ‘Guidelines for Geographic Places 2010’ (DSE 2010). Parks Victoria is the ‘naming authority’ for parks, and is able to rename places in accordance with the above. The Office of Geographic Names (OGN, formerly the Victorian Place Name Committee) is responsible for endorsing and registering place names in Victoria.
The process to rename a park involves the following steps:
- prepare the naming proposal and apply the naming principles as appropriate
- undertake community consultation
- if the proposal involves the use of an Indigenous name, consult the relevant Indigenous communities before undertaking broader community consultation
- submit the naming proposal to Regional Manager and General Manager Parks for endorsement
- submit proposal to the OGN for endorsement, and consult with National Parks Advisory Committee as appropriate
- submit the proposal to Chief Executive and Minister for approval
- advise the OGN of the Minister’s approval of the proposal
- gazettal of proposal by the OGN
- registration of the name, amendment of the National Parks Act and notification to stakeholders.
In some cases, particularly for places with statewide significance, the Registrar for Geographic Names may convene a committee to review the proposal.
What are your thoughts about renaming Mount Eccles National Park as Budj Bim National Park?
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