Menang Noongar artists are the key to the next stage of Albany’s historic dual-naming project after 28 Indigenous place names received official approval from Landgate.
The 28 names, submitted to Landgate in June with the unanimous support of City of Albany council, include some of the City’s most prominent sites.
Binalup/Middleton Beach, Miaritch/Oyster Harbour, Mutenup/Foundation Park and Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock are among the 16 landmarks to receive dual-names, with the Indigenous name to appear first.
Eleven locations have received names for the first time, such as Purriyup — a previously unnamed waterway linking Oyster Harbour to Lake Seppings.
Point Possession has been renamed Uredale Point, after a senior Menang figure at the time of European settlement.
Only naturally occurring landmarks can be dual-named.
The dual-naming of Binalup/Middleton Beach, for example, does not affect residential or business addresses.
Now, the City is seeking expressions of interest from Menang Noongar artists or designers interested in creating artwork for signage, shelters, seating and publications.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate their ability to reflect stories that connect to place and feature the adopted Menang Noongar names.
The City plans to develop interpretive signage for key landmarks, complemented by QR codes linking to Menang language and stories.
“The City is thrilled to have officially dual-named 28 locations across Albany and now we are sharing the stories and history associated with those names,” City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe said.
“There are so many opportunities to integrate our Menang Noongar culture throughout Albany.
“We are proud of our First Nations heritage and we are looking forward to showcasing our place names.”
According to the City, the Restoring Menang Noongar Place Names project is believed to the biggest of its kind by a local government in Australia.
It has involved significant consultation with the Menang Noongar community through a team led by historian Murray Arnold, anthropologist Rob Reynolds and Menang elder Vernice Gillies.
In total, 66 place names were endorsed through the project.
The 28 names submitted to Landgate either related to land managed by the City or had the support of the landowner.
Councillors have resolved to work with stakeholders on the naming of the other 38 locations, with a report to be prepared for council next year.
Expressions of interest for the art component of the project close on February 14.