Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tjilatjirrin: What’s in a name?

On 11 July 2009 Bayside City Council (Melbourne, Australia) renamed Tulip Street Reserve as part of NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) week.

The new name is Tjilatjirrin.

On a wet, miserably cold Saturday morning locals and visitors crowded into a meeting room at the reserve to celebrate the unveiling of a new plaque. In heavy rain footballers from Dandenong demonstrated the ancient aboriginal game of Marn Grook on one of the wind swept ovals. The sports complex includes lawn bowls, soccer, and baseball.

Council had originally rejected the name because it might prove to be too hard to pronounce. The local newspaper reported:

Councillors initially rejected the new moniker, saying it wasn’t required and was too hard to pronounce.

That decision was overturned just a week later when councillors voted to support the indigenous title after most of the ground’s sports clubs lobbied in favour of the new name.
Come play with us at Tjilatjirrin Bayside Leader 7 July 2009
Their online report includes a clip on how to say the name Tjilatjirrin, which means to play together.

Tjilatjirrin: Playing together is a video of the opening ceremony festivities.

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