Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

Support to name pool Gurri Wanyarra

I’ve just visited all the main schools in Kangaroo Flat to see if they have visible signs of ‘Acknowledgement of Country’.   The state primary school has a plaque on a prominent rock outside the main entrance and Crusoe Secondary College does inside all its main buildings. St Monica’s has one on the wall in reception, it also has a large meeting area called ‘The Jaara Centre’ and they have about 15 Aboriginal students.

The Special Development School has a number of initiatives underway including a beautiful mural that many students have helped create.

I also checked the Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise buildings with its sports complex and bowling club. There were none.

Knowledge of our first people is an important thing and an ongoing educational awareness process. A large part of the Dja Dja Wurrung story is recorded in Edgar Morrison’s book ‘A Successful Failure’.

They were known as a gentle people; the people who say ‘Yes’.  Frank Cusack says “they were a peaceful Aboriginal group, given more to trade than warfare with their more belligerent neighbours” and Protector Parker “they are a dignified and peaceful people”. 

Many Bendigo people acknowledge the contribution of Uncle Brien Nelson and know Trent Nelson and the mighty job he is doing now in the Bendigo region.

The City of Greater Bendigo is to be commended for their Reconciliation Action Plan, which involves communication and mutual understanding.

The name proposed by council for the new Kangaroo Flat pool is “Gurri Wanyarra” meaning ‘Kangaroo Waterhole’. It’s an Australian name that honours our first people, their culture and promotes a shared heritage.

But it seems the Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise believe they know what’s best for Kangaroo Flat. This comes from a sense of ownership and hence they have naming rights. How Ironic! 

Faith Leech had no connection to Kangaroo Flat. The only time she came here was en-route to Melbourne. She lived one street away from the Bendigo Pool and if anywhere is to be called ‘The Faith Leech Pool’ it should be there. The naming of the Kangaroo Flat pool is an opportunity to acknowledge our Indigenous heritage.

Let’s be the people who say ‘Yes’.

Ray Wilson, Kangaroo Flat

Why the long walk?

Why is it when travelling by train from Bendigo to Southern Cross Station and return we almost always arrive on platform 8 South and depart from platform 16? These platforms would have to be the most remote platforms at Southern Cross Station.

If one is catching a suburban train one has to walk from platform 8 to the Spencer Street entrance turn round go up two escalator flights and walk back to then  take a steep escalator  down  to a suburban platform  not far from the platform 8 South where one arrived.  

Platform 16 is the remotest platform of all. Adjacent to Docklands.  

To gain access to this platform from Spencer Street one has to go up two escalator flights go past the suburban train platform down ramps to gain access to platforms 15/16 down ramp.

Our local member and Minister of Transport Jacinta Allan could do us a favour and save us all this unnecessary walking by moving the Bendigo arrivals and departures platforms at Southern Cross to where country trains used to always leave and depart from. Platforms 1 to 8

Edwin Thomas, Kangaroo Flat