In the spirit of reconciliation with its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, Council has resolved to assist the Traditional Owners of Darebin (the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation) to consult with the community on a joint project to rename some places in Darebin, commencing with Batman Park in Northcote and the Federal electorate of Batman.
The bank of the Merri Creek in Northcote, not far from where Batman Park is now located, is understood to be the place where the Batman Treaty was signed.
An important step towards reconciliation includes making a public commitment and taking action to fully recognise, value and accept Aboriginal histories, cultures and rights as part of our shared national identity
From July a group of Wurundjeri Elders will lead a series of conversations and activities in Batman Park to illuminate the many connections between the Aboriginal history and heritage of this local area.
The Wurundjeri Elders and Council recognise the importance and value of our community’s many shared connections to Batman Park and the surrounding area. We are interested to hear from all people who visit, use, work in, learn in, live near and enjoy Batman Park.
The suggested names are:
Be Be Jern
Be Be Jern was a Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people. He was also known as Bebejern or Jerum Jerum. He was one of eight Wurundjeri leaders present at the signing of the Batman Treaty in 1835. A Ngurungaeta is a tribal leader or head man. It is a Woi wurrung word. Woi wurrung is the traditional language of the Wurundjeri people. Be Be Jern is the person from whom all contemporary Wurundjeri families are descended.
Be Be Jern lived along the Yarra River stretching from Heidelberg to Mount Baw Baw. This family line continued through Be Be Jern’s daughter Annie Borate (Boorat) and her son Robert Wandin (Wandoon). Be Be Jern was the father of Barak, who was also known as William Barak. Be Be Jern died in 1836.
Billibellary was a Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people and was present at the signing of the Batman Treaty in 1835. He was also known as Jika Jika, Jacky Jacky and Jaga Jaga. Billibellary was a leading song-maker. His family lived on the north bank of the Yarra River from Yarra Bend Park up to Merri Creek.
Billibellary was an astute and diplomatic leader. He negotiated with the colonial government to protect the Kulin clans from starvation brought on by the loss of lands and forced abandonment of their cultural practices and traditional way of life. Billebellary was the uncle of William Barak. Billibellary died in 1846 and was buried at the confluence of the Yarra River and Merri Creek.
Gumbri was a descendant of Be Be Jan and is blood line connected to Barak (great niece). She remains a much loved and respected Wurundjeri Elder. Gumbri means ‘white dove’ in Woi wurrung which is the traditional language of the Wurundjeri people.
Gumbri was also known as Jessie Hunter. She was the last girl born on the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve in Healesville. Gumbri had a great passion for Wurundjeri people and Country with a special interest in Wurundjeri bush foods and medicines.
Stay tuned for information on this project by joining the mailing list – email us at email@example.com to receive regular updates.
To learn more about reconciliation visit Reconciliation Australia, for information on naming electoral boundaries see the Australian Electoral Commission, and for the John Batman and the Batman Treaty visit the State Library of Victoria.
The Renaming Batman Park Survey asks what aspects of Batman Park are important to you and will be used for project evaluation by the Wurundjeri Council and Darebin Council.
If you have any comments, questions about the project or some information to share, please contact us.
Coordinator Equity & Diversity
Ph: 8470 8365
Renaming Batman Park Community Conversations
Darebin City Council and the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council (Wurundjeri Council), warmly invite you to join Aboriginal Elders in a series of community conversations to discuss the renaming of Batman Park.
The Darebin community is invited to listen to Aboriginal Elders explain the stories and meanings behind the names at the following meetings:
- Batman Park - Saturday 16 July, 1pm-3pm
- Northcote Town Hall (High St.) - Tuesday 26 July, 6pm-8pm
- Batman Park - Sunday 21 August, 1pm-3pm
- Northcote Plaza (Stall 4) - Sunday 28 August, 11am-1pm
Everyone is welcome.
Have Your Say: Renaming Batman Park Survey.