Mt Panorama in Bathurst, NSW, now has a dual name which recognises the Wiradjuri history of the area.
The decision came after the Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council successfully applied to the Geographical Names Board to include the mountain’s Wiradjuri name, Wahluu.
Toni-Lee Scott, CEO of the Bathurst LALC welcomed the news.
“I think it’s wonderful, it recognises everybody – not just one way but bringing cultures together and I think there should be more of it,” she said.
Ms Scott said it wasn’t all smooth sailing and there were a couple of petitions opposing the dual name recognition.
“Many people feared that it was going to be renamed and even today there’s that view but that is simply not the case,” she said.
The Bathurst Regional Council supported the dual recognition saying it’s a step towards reconciliation. They also acknowledged that Aboriginal place names are an important part of history which they wanted to help preserve.
According to Bathurst LALC, Wahluu means sacred place – a men’s initiation site.
The creation story tells of how Wiradjuri Warrior Wahluu was killed by his older brother in a dispute over a migay (young woman). Wahluu fell to the ground and blood spilled into the ground, making Biame (God) angry. Biame made the volcano erupt and lava spewed over Wahluu’s body which is now the shape of the mountain today.
In contemporary terms it is still used largely by men. Mount Panorama/Wahluu is iconic in Australian motor car racing and hosts the Bathurst 1000 every year.
NSWALC congratulates Bathurst LALC for showing great leadership in the face of public outcry against the move.