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Renaming Mount Eccles to Budj Bim

 Lake Surprise Lookout

Budj Bim Council and Parks Victoria propose to change the name of Mount Eccles National Park to Budj Bim National Park and the name of the peak Mount Eccles to Budj Bim.

Public submissions have now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded. We have received over 550 responses to the survey and a number written submissions, mostly in support of the renaming proposals. These will be carefully considered in accordance with the Guidelines for Geographic Places.

Why Budj Bim?

The story of the Gunditjmara people is intimately related to the volcanic eruption of Mount Eccles around 30,000 years ago, when an ancestral creation-being revealed himself in the landscape to the Gunditjmara people. Budj Bim (meaning high head) is part of the ancestral creation-being’s body; his forehead is the mountain and the stones are his teeth.

About the current name

Mount Eccles is a 178 metre inactive volcano. 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 from Mount Eeles to Mount Eccles around 1845 (Learmonth 1970), an error that has never been corrected. Mount Eccles National Park is named for the peak, which is a major feature of the park.

Who manages the park?

Mount Eccles National Park is cooperatively managed by Parks Victoria and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners through the Budj Bim Council.

Community conversations

Consultation on a proposal to rename the park was undertaken during development of the Ngootyoong Gunditj Ngootyoong Mara South West Management Plan management plan in 2012 and 2013.

The name of the park was one of the main topics raised in public submissions on the draft plan. Although there was support for renaming the park, there was little support for the dual name. The majority of submissions proposed the single name Budj Bim National Park.

Following release of the approved plan in May 2015, Budj Bim Council recommended renaming both the peak and the park Budj Bim.

The use of traditional Aboriginal words and names for parks and park features benefits both the experience of visitors and the mutually respectful relationship with Traditional Owners. The proposed name aligns with the existing Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape. It will support cultural protection, connection to country and growth of sustainable tourism consistent with Gunditjmara values and economic objectives.

Find out more

Fact sheet (PDF)

Map of Mount Eccles National Park (PDF)


About the naming process

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, of the names of topographical, cultural and other features in parks were adopted long before the parks were declared. Some names are derived from Aboriginal history or culture, or from the history of the area. Other names commemorate people or events associated with exploration, settlement or use of the land.

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 Act and Guidelines mentioned above. The Office of Geographic Names (formerly the Victorian Place Name Committee) is responsible for endorsing and registering place names in Victoria.

The Guidelines for Geographic Place Names emphasises the importance of comprehensive community consultation when proposing new names or changes to existing names. It is essential that proposals are consistent with the principles contained in the guidelines, and that the wider community is consulted about any proposed names. If the proposal involves the use of an Indigenous name the relevant Indigenous communities are consulted before undertaking broader community consultation.

References

  • DSE (2010) Guidelines for Geographic Places 2010, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.
  • Learmonth, Noel F. (1970). Four Towns and a Survey. Hawthorn Press, Melbourne.