12 September 2023
On the 12th of September 2023, I was pleased to present my motion on amending the lack of descriptions of Waramanga's streets on the ACT Governments public mapping service - ACTmapi. The "Place Names" section of ACTmapi contains a short history and description of the significance behind each street in Canberra with one notable exception. Waramanga, in Weston Creek is curiously left.
Those of you with a keen eye or interest in our local history may have noticed that Canberra's suburbs have street name themes. Curtin's theme is "State Premiers", Weston's theme is Names of "Artists" and Coombs' theme is "Notable Public Servants" for example.
Waramanga's street theme of "Names of Aboriginal cultural groups" celebrates the rich Indigenous history of Weston Creek, Canberra and Australia more broadly. Unlike other suburbs in ACTmapi, however, there is a lack of comprehensive detail and description of Waramanga's streets. The names of our public places, whether they be streets, parks, landmarks or memorials form an important part of a community's identity. The accessibility of knowledge around the naming of our places is vital in preserving local history and heritage.
In a time when there is a fierce and national public debate leading up to a Voice to Parliament referendum, I think it is constructive to engage with our local Indigenous heritage here in the ACT. Waramanga was gazetted in 1968, just a year after the nation came together in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of the population. I’d argue Waramanga’s theme of Aboriginal cultural groups very much rode on the national momentum for change, for recognition and for equality.
That's why I'm calling on the ACT Government to research and publish a full description of Waramanga's street names, so the community can better recognise the tens of thousands of years of Indigenous culture that Waramanga's streets seek to reflect.
Below you'll find a copy of my motion and the media release explaining the background behind my call on the Government. I'll also link ACTmapi for those of you that would like to explore your local suburb a little more in depth.