Racist name removed from Rockhampton creek with overwhelming community support
The Darumbal people have today welcomed a Rockhampton creek being stripped of its racist name, with the 22km watercourse to now be known by the traditional word Dundula meaning gum tree.
From a nine-week public consultation, there were 723 community submissions with 714 or 99 per cent in support of the change.
The Darumbal people, who hold Native Title over the area, requested the change.
Darumbal Elder Aunty Sally Vea Vea said she was overjoyed by the outpouring of community support not just in Rockhampton but from all over the state.
“We are over the moon with this decision. It’s an important and uplifting decision for not only Darumbal women but for all indigenous women,” she said.
“After 156 years, this is a very significant moment for us and we thank everyone who supported us and stood with us in working to have the creek renamed—from state agencies to the average person walking on the street.
“I feel that this marks a new season and new stage for our community and is great for reconciliation.
“The people who drive over that creek every day will see Dundula Creek, they will see the change, and it will bring a good feeling to the entire community.
“There is healing in this action for the entire community and for all Darumbal women.”
The creek connects four suburbs in Rockhampton, starting at the border of South Yaamba, running straight through Alton Downs down to Dalma and Nine Mile.
From today (Friday 2 October), any new State maps referencing the creek will reflect the new name of Dundula Creek pronounced doon-doo-la (previously ‘Black Gin Creek’). The Department will also notify a number of stakeholders about the name change including Google Maps.
The Queensland Government recognises that the continued use of racist place names is hurtful to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and others and will continue to work with the community on any name change requests made.
Name change requests can be lodged online at: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/title/place-names/naming/suggestions.
Last updated 2 October 2020