New name tests wa­ters

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By SOPHIE GABRIELLE

A DE­BATE has been reignited over whether Lake Mon­ger should be re­stored to its Abo­rig­i­nal name.

It was a meet­ing place for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, who knew it as Galup, but to­day Lake Mon­ger still bears the name of set­tler John Henry Mon­ger.

UWA In­dige­nous Stud­ies Pro­fes­sor and Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor Len Col­lard has thrown his sup­port be­hind a push to re­store Lake Mon­ger’s Abo­rig­i­nal name.

“There is a pow­er­ful shift by Noon­gar in­tel­lec­tu­als to re­claim the names of places,” Prof Col­lard said.

“The orig­i­nal name was Lake Galup or Kalup, which is the ‘home fire’ or ‘lo­ca­tion of home’; hence, that’s where peo­ple lived. “It was the cen­tre of our world. “I’ve seen lit­er­a­ture re­fer to it as the first Perth; it was the cen­tre of peo­ple’s com­merce.”

In 1996, the City of Su­bi­aco and the Geo­graphic Names Com­mit­tee, Abo­rig­i­nal Affairs Depart­ment and Abo­rig­i­nal Sites Reg­is­ter re­stored the name of Shen­ton Park Lake to Lake Jual­bup.

Su­bi­aco’s chief ex­ec­u­tive at the time, Pa­trick Walker, said the Abo­rig­i­nal name change was a sig­nif­i­cant and ap­pro­pri­ate step to­ward rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

Town of Cam­bridge Mayor Keri Shan­non said she would in­ves­ti­gate whether there was sup­port to change the name of Lake Mon­ger.

“I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance,” Ms Shan­non said.

“Ab­so­lutely it’s worth putting it to the coun­cil; it is some­thing I would like to in­ves­ti­gate. “I don’t have a prob­lem with it.” Cam­bridge act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Ja­son Lyon said the Town re­ceived a re­quest to recog­nise the lake’s Abo­rig­i­nal name dur­ing con­sul­ta­tion for the Lake Mon­ger Man­age­ment Plan 2007-2008.

“Dur­ing the course of the con­sul­ta­tion, a re­quest was made to coun­cil to recog­nise the Abo­rig­i­nal name Galup for Lake Mon­ger,” Mr Lyon said.

“As a re­sult of this re­quest, the coun­cil en­dorsed the in­clu­sion of the name Galup on one of the in­ter­pre­tive signs in­stalled at the lake last year.

“In ad­di­tion, the name Galup is in­cluded on three en­try state­ment signs due to be in­stalled at the lake in April this year.”

There is a pow­er­ful shift by Noon­gar in­tel­lec­tu­als to re­claim the names of places.

WHAT’S in a name? By any other name, Lake Mon­ger would still smell like duck poo. It would still at­tract young fam­i­lies for picnics, be cir­cled by fit­ness fa­nat­ics, de­fended by grumpy swans, and still be one of my favourite spots. When Kevin Rudd moved a mo­tion of apol­ogy to the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion, I re­mem­ber a lot of peo­ple ask­ing: “Why bother?”. They said…“It hap­pened so long ago. It’s not like we had any­thing to do with it per­son­ally. “This is just a symp­tom of white guilt. Why dredge up un­com­fort­able his­tory?”. They com­pletely missed the point. I imag­ine there will be many peo­ple who op­pose re­nam­ing Lake Mon­ger to Lake Galup for very sim­i­lar rea­sons. At the end of the day, it does not mat­ter what Lake Mon­ger is called. How­ever, there are thou­sands of in­dige­nous West Aus­tralians who do care – they care very much. And that makes all the dif­fer­ence.

There is a move to change the name of Lake Mon­ger to its

Abo­rig­i­nal name of Galup.

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