Now here’s a new trend we can get behind. Changing the names of natural places back to the ones used by their Traditional Owners.
WA’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Ben Wyatt, recently announced that the King Leopold Ranges in the western Kimberley region will be renamed the Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges, to respect the wishes of the region’s multiple Traditional Owners.
That’s way better than naming something after an infamous Belgian king who was responsible for the deaths of millions and never even visited Australia. What’s up with that?
Wunaamin-Miliwundi is a combination of the names given to the ranges by the Ngarinyin and Bunuba Traditional Owners, the two key native title groups in the area.
The Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges stretch across over 500km of the Kimberley region and numerous native title groups call the area home.
There’s been a long-standing consensus in the region that the ranges are long overdue for a name change, so Traditional Owners are glad to see it finally happen.
Ngarinyin Traditional Owner, Gordon Smith Jr, spoke to ABC News about the change. ‘It’s been a long time coming; it’s very important we see in our lifetime that change can still happen.’
‘Giving traditional names back to the people is very important for the native title process,’ Mr Smith said.
Let’s hope this is a trend that catches on around the country!
Photos thanks to Tourism Western Australia