Hobart offered Indigenous name
The City of Hobart has been offered a new name as an act of reconciliation.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre has put forth ‘nipaluna’ as the dual name for Hobart.
The name comes from the revived Aboriginal language of palawa kani,and was revealed at a meeting between the Hobart City Council and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) this week.
The word ‘nipaluna’ is documented as a name used for the area now known as Hobart by the Indigenous community prior to European settlement.
The TAC wants authorities to start using the name on sign and documents, but any official name change would need further approvals.
The TAC's Heather Sculthorpe says local leader Wurati shared the name with conciliator George Augustus Robinson in 1831.
“Wurati gave it to Robinson on the 16th of January 1831, and Robinson records that in conversation with the natives Wurati gave him this name and informed him that was the name for this town of Hobart,” Ms Sculthorpe said.
“And later on in that same year, on the 11th of July 1831, Wurati gave more details that this was the name of this area and how people had watched the ships come in overlooking this area.
“So we have dates, we have times, we have speakers and we know it's right.”
Hobart Lord Mayor Ron Christie said he would use nipaluna it as often as possible.
“I'd like to see this in future signage, Hobart, our street signs identified on the top of the sign where we have many colonial names; Macquarie, Brisbane,” he said.
“Why not have nipaluna/City of Hobart on top of those street signs?”
Formal recognition of the name for use on signage and maps would require the approval of Tasmania's Nomenclature Board.
Ms Sculthorpe said adopting nipaluna would be a stronger sign of reconciliation than the morning teas normally offered.
Another Aboriginal community group, the Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Communities Alliance (TRACA), says it was not consulted.
“It is a form of divide and conquer that the Hobart City Council is using and I am pretty sad that council would do that when it has got other Aboriginal ratepayers in it,” TRACA co-chairman Rodney Dillon told the ABC.
“I am very supportive of having Aboriginal names of places, I think it is the most important thing that we can do but you have got to let all the groups have a say in it, not just let one group dictate it. We haven't got Idi Amin here.
“The council should know better than to deal with one group, and then in the next breath they talk about reconciliation.”
The South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation says it supports a dual name for Hobart if all Tasmanian Aboriginal groups are consulted.
The Tasmanian Government is not in favour of the dual name.
Following the adoption of ‘kunanyi’ for Mount Wellington, the Government says it will review the dual-naming policy in an effort to make it more inclusive.
“While the Government does not support a dual name for Hobart, it is optimistic the TAC will contribute to the consultation to ensure their views are included in the review process,” it said in a statement.