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Historic Name for Creek of Fire

The Geographical Names Board is seeking community feedback on a proposal by Professor Grace Karskens to name a creek in Cattai.

The unnamed creek, connecting Wheeny Lagoon on the east with a series of unnamed lagoons/chain of ponds on the west near the Riverside Oaks Golf Course, is in The Hills Shire local government area.

Wiyingay is believed to be the name given as the name for the creek by Darug people to the Reverend John McGarvie in the late 1820s . McGarvie included the name in his ‘List of Native Names for Places on the Hawkesbury River, spelling it as ‘Weenay’ when the list was published in 1829.

In 2018 McGarvie’s List (held in the Mitchell Library, State Library) became the subject of an ongoing collaborative project, led by Professor Grace Karskens working with Darug researchers called, The Real Secret River Dyarubbin.

The 178 names on McGarvie’s List were researched, relocated (where possible), glossed and phonetically reconstructed. ‘Weenay’ was glossed as ‘place of fire’ or ‘fire dreaming place’ and phonetically reconstructed as ‘Wiyingay’.

Chair of the Geographical Names Board Narelle Underwood said the board is encouraging community comment before it considers the proposal.

“Through place naming, communities have the opportunity to unlock past stories, preserve traditions, reawaken language and provide a sense of belonging and identity,” Mrs Underwood said. “We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed name.”

The closing date for submissions is November 8th 2021. Details of the proposal can be viewed, and submissions lodged on the Geographical Names Board’s www.gnb.nsw.gov.au.

Alternatively, written submissions may be mailed to the Secretary, Geographical Names Board, 346 Panorama Ave, Bathurst, NSW 2795


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