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Dan Andrews slammed for vowing to "erase" Aboriginal language in favour of honouring Queen Elizabeth II

Tamati Smith -

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has been slammed for vowing to change the Indigenous name of the Maroondah hospital to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II should Labor retain office in the November State election.

Mr Andrews on Sunday revealed plans to remane Maroondah Hospital to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital to mark the facility's refurbishment.

His promise was met with immediate scorn from prominent Aboriginal people on social media, including Noongar writer Claire Coleman who said renaming the hospital after a "dead colonising monarch" challenged her support for Labor.

VACCHO chief executive Jill Gallagher said the proposed name change was deeply hurtful and upsetting to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.

"Whilst we are surrounded by British culture in this country - Aboriginal culture, and the Aboriginal way of life is almost invisible," she said.

"There are already countless statues, landmarks and venue names, dedicated to colonial-era British people.

"There are two entire states named after queens, the capital of Victoria is named after a British Prime Minister â€" it never ends.

"Renaming the Maroondah hospital will see yet another piece of our culture erased and replaced by the culture of the invaders."

Maroondah is an Aboriginal word meaning meaning leaves.

Ms Gallagher said the decision added insult to an already controversial week, where a day of mourning on Thursday was quickly ushered in for the Queen while Indigenous people continue to wait for Australia Day to also be recognised as a day of mourning.

Mr Andrews on Sunday made the call while revealing plans to revamp the facility into a 300+ bed teaching hospital.

"The new Queen Elizabeth II hospital will rebuild and refurbish the Maroondah hospital from the ground up," Mr Andrews said.

"The Queen was a longstanding supporter of Victoria's healthcare system.

"As the patron of the Royal Melbourne and the Royal Children's hospitals, she demonstrated her devotion to patients and their care whenever she visited their bedsides."

Under the refurbishment a new emergency department and operating theatrwe will be operational by 2029.

Federal Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe said Mr Andrews' promise was an effort to re-colonise Woiwurrung country.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Saturday pledged $400m towards the facility without changing its name.


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