What's In A Name?

I want to take the chance to nerd out for a moment and talk about the naming of parliamentary electorates.

This one caught me a bit off guard though.

Over in Victoria, they have taken the chance to rename the electorate of Wendouree as Eureka, after the Stockade of lore.

Eureka is important, but don't we have room to acknowledge it another way? IMAGE: Wikipedia

As regulars would know, I’m a proud history nerd, and worked in politics previously.

But this strikes me as incredibly dangerous.

Today the SA Government has released another Closing The Gap plan to address indigenous inequality.

This is happening at the same time as we are now removing indigenous names from our cultural life?

Wendouree is a Wadawurrung word meaning go away, and apparently this is what we’re doing now when it comes to history.

Given our curricula are so stacked with indigenous history nowadays, I don’t understand how it can serve the benefit of trying to promote indigenous causes by removing indigenous names.

Ok, you might think that Eureka deserves to be acknowledged, and that’s fine, but let’s take this situation and apply to an EP situation.

Are we going to rename Wudinna, or Ceduna, or Kimba?

I’m genuinely confused, when we’re trying to promote the learning of our history so people have a whole understanding of history and not just the low protein gruel narratives of soapies or Hollywood movies, we’re actually removing indigenous names.

You might say this is Victoria, not SA or the EP more specifically.

But how long until such a movement breaches state lines and goes national?

If it is important to teach people about their history to keep cultures alive, why remove names now?

The naming of state and federal electorates is a perfect opportunity to acknowledge our indigenous history, especially at a federal level where electorates rarely have a geographical bent.

We’ve made good progress on making indigenous history available to people today.

Let’s not go backwards now.