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Iconic locations officially given dual Indigenous names

Maeve Bannister -

Two iconic places in northern NSW will be officially known by their Indigenous names after calls from the community to recognise their significant cultural heritage.

Walgan, meaning "shoulder" in the Bundjalung language, will be the dual name for Cape Byron, the Australian mainland's most easterly point.

The area is a popular tourist spot in Byron Bay and is significant to the Arakwal and other Bundjalung people as a place for important gatherings and ceremonial practices.

Nguthungulli, said to be the Father of the World, will be the dual name for Julian Rocks, one of Australia's top diving sites located 2.5km from Cape Byron.

It is a significant and sacred Aboriginal site associated with several dreaming stories of the Arakwal and other Bundjalung people.

The NSW Geographical Names Board approved a submission from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to officially give the areas dual names.

The board and Byron Shire Council will also formally name a reserve in the suburb of Bangalow as Piccabeen Park.

"Piccabeen" is a Bundjalung word used to describe the bangalow palm and baskets made from its fronds.

Customer Service Minister Jihad Dib said the NSW government was committed to preserving and promoting Indigenous language and culture through place naming.

"All Australians share a relationship to the land and the names we give to places convey their significance, sense of history and identity," he said.

"Dual-naming acknowledges the significance of Aboriginal culture and represents a meaningful step towards the process of unity in NSW."

Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty Minister David Harris said the Arakwal and other Bundjalung people have had unbroken connections to these places through story, kinship and language since the first sunrise.

"It is only right to honour that history and that connection through names that bring story and language to life for all Australians to enjoy," he said.

Maeve Bannister - AAP


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