More history, not less

The unnaming of Moreland City Council
by
January–February 2022, no. 439

More history, not less

The unnaming of Moreland City Council
by
January–February 2022, no. 439

On 19 November 2021, a delegation of Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung community leaders and prominent local non-Indigenous representatives presented a letter to Moreland City Council, in the inner-northern suburbs of Melbourne, asking that the Council be renamed. As the petitioners pointed out, Moreland – a name given to parts of the area in 1839 by Scottish settler Farquhar McCrae and then adopted by the local Council in 1994 – was the name of a Jamaican slave plantation to which McCrae’s family had a connection.

Renaming the Council, the letter’s authors asserted, would be an ‘opportunity to complement the current spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation’, bringing about greater awareness of both the global legacies of enslavement and the dispossession of Wurundjeri people in Melbourne and, fundamentally, healing for the descendants of those people and for those who call Moreland home today. The petitioners did not suggest a new name but asked the Council to consult with relevant stakeholders, specifically the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, in order to establish an alternative name.

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