Vestey’s Beach renamed Bundilla Beach at Larrakia traditional owners’ request

by | Mar 22, 2021 | News | 0 comments

Larrakia traditional owners have welcomed the renaming of Darwin’s Vesteys Beach after many years of calling on the government to recognise its cultural significance.

The beach will now be known as “Bundilla” which means “young girl” in Larrakia, and which has significance for their language and culture.

The name change was requested by Larrakia elder Barbara Mills-Raymond and her son Kootji Raymond, and has been endorsed by the Place Names Committee.

“I am happy about it because this is my place,” Ms Mills-Raymond told the ABC. She has been leading the charge for the name change.

“It’s not too often that anything is named after us or our people.”

Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler said highlighting the cultural significance of land is part of the Territory Government’s commitment to recognise and elevate Aboriginal identity, language, and history and honour Traditional Owners.

“Consultation with Larrakia Nation, Larrakia Development Corporation and City of Darwin yielded strong support for the renaming,” Ms Lawler said.

“The local community has also been notified, with businesses around the area also spoken too, with there being no impact or added cost to business owners.”

The minister added that the signage for Bundilla Beach will have the name Vesteys Beach in brackets below the new name.

“Our Government will continue listening to the community and working towards acknowledging our Aboriginal heritage through place-naming practices,” she said.

City of Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis also welcomed the name change, saying that council will look at new and innovative ways to revitalise land areas, and make them culturally friendly and appealing.

The beach was formerly named after Lord William Vestey, a cattle baron from England whose company set up a meatworks facility on a nearby headland in 1914.

Lord Vestey’s company also controlled Wave Hill Station where Gurindji people led by Vincent Lingiari famously initiated their historic walk-off in 1966.

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