The Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council says it supports Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s decision to use the aboriginal word for the city as part of the historic cemetery upgrade.
Council installed ‘Guruk’ as part of the new-look signage.
Land council CEO David Carroll said council’s decision promoted inclusiveness and helped celebrate aboriginal culture and history.
“Promoting aboriginal culture in this area is a good thing, as long as it is done with cultural sensitivity,” he said.
“And while we want to promote that culture and history we are also aware that we are very much part of the overall community.
“I’ve only been in this role for five months but the overwhelming sense I get is that people realise there has been injustices in the past but they don’t want to go overboard.
“The real message here is that we want to be part of an inclusive society.”
The land council would also support any future moves to include aboriginal words for significant landmarks or projects.
“We would support the inclusion of aboriginal names where and when works are being carried out. We would like to see this as part of the process where there is a significant landmark or where the work is being done,” he said.
Mr Carroll acknowledged that including aboriginal names ‘for everything would be an expensive exercise’.
With more culturally important stories being told and shared, Mr Carroll said using local aboriginal place names was an important step toward making our community better.
“Birpai are the traditional people but we aren’t the only people here now,” he said.
He said the land council had a good working relationship with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and would continue to work toward a united community.
And if the initial reaction from the community is a guide, it appears that we support using the local aboriginal language for place names.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Facebook page included the following comments on the decision to use Guruk at the historic cemetery.
William O'Brien said: Looks great, also they have added Guruk. Well done, love it while Alana Luke said: I noticed the new signage when I drove past it today! It looks so good. Well done to all involved.
Other comments were from Susan Munro: Looks so good. The staff involved should be very proud of the outcome. Well done, while David Irving said: Modern and low maintenance. Great improvement on what was a derelict entry to town.
However Ben Simon said: Am I the only one who thought the older sign looked much nicer?