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Renaming Moreland

Council supports Moreland name change

As a Council, we recognise the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waterways in the area now known as Moreland.

Elders from the Traditional Owner community and other community representatives have asked us to consider renaming Moreland City Council.

We held a Special Council Meeting at 7pm on Monday 13 December to consider an officer report outlining recommendations for progressing the renaming request. The report is available to read on our Council meeting minutes and past agendas page.

You can also watch a recording of the meeting on our Moreland City Council Facebook page.

In summary, Council:

  • Supported in principle changing the name of the municipality.
  • Resolved to partner with stakeholders, including the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, to co-design a process to select a new name during 2022.
  • Will plan and start a community information and education program in 2022 that acknowledges the impacts and consequences of dispossession and racism and encourages respectful understanding through truth-telling and reconciliation.

Council received a report in March 2022 detailing the proposed community information and education campaign and recommendations from the name selection process co-design activity, including plans for community engagement. 

On 14 May 2022, Council formally accepted and endorsed 3 name options offered by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. These proposed names will be consulted on with community from May - June 2022: 

  • Wa-dam-buk (pronounced wah-dam-book)
    Meaning: 'Renew'
  • Merri-bek (pronounced merry-beck)
    Meaning: 'Rocky country'
  • Jerrang (pronounced jer-rang)
    Meaning: 'Leaf of tree' 
 
 
 

Council will receive a further report in July 2022, following community and stakeholder engagement, and select a preferred suitable name for the municipality to present to the Minister for Local Government for consideration in 2022.

$250,000 per year for 2 financial years ($500,000 in total) will be allocated to update Council’s digital platforms, signs at significant Council buildings and facilities, and municipal entry signs. Updating other Council assets such as street and park signs and smaller facilities signage will be staged over a 10-year timeframe within existing budget allocations and asset renewal programs.

You can read the full resolution from the Council Meeting in the minutes of the meeting which are on our Council meeting minutes and past agendas page.

You can also find information from when the Special Council Meeting to consider the renaming request was announced, in our Special Council Meeting to consider the renaming request news article. 

You can read the letter of request to Council submitted by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. 

You can read the media release announcing the proposed names.

You can follow the project, have your say on the Woi-wurrung name options and learn more on Conversations Moreland

Background

In 1839, Farquhar McCrae bought land from Moonee Ponds Creek to Sydney Road, without permission from the traditional owners, and called it ‘Moreland’. Moreland was the name of a Jamaican slave estate that his grandfather had operated. This information has been recently presented to Council by Elders from the Traditional Owner community and other community representatives.

In 1994 when the Brunswick and Coburg councils, and part of Broadmeadows, were amalgamated, the State Government named the new local government area 'Moreland'.

Statement of Commitment

On 18 October 2021, Moreland City Council renewed our Statement of Commitment to Australia’s First Peoples, which you can read in our Statement of Commitment to Australia’s First Peoples (PDF). This statement is about strengthening and formalising our commitment to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the City of Moreland.

It sets out Council’s vision for reconciliation which you can also see on our Reconciliation page. It outlines what Council recognises, supports, and commits to. It means we will seek guidance from and consult with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people, build partnerships with communities and individuals and seek to include Woi-wurrung names in the process of naming and renaming spaces, places, roads, and parks in the City of Moreland.

Council first signed a Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians in May 1998 which you can read about in our Reconciliation Action Plan 2014 (DOC). Since then, Council has continued to look at ways to work together with First Nations communities in Moreland.

Related topics

You can find out more about January 26th being acknowledged as a day of mourning by Moreland City Council, and our Survival Day – Healing Ceremony 2021 on our Reconciliation page.

Frequently asked questions

Find more information an Frequently Asked Questions on Conversations Moreland.