Noongar elder would love to see Blackboy Park renamed

Blackboy Park is set for a name change. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Blackboy Park is set for a name change. Picture: Martin Kennealey

NOONGAR elder George Hayden says he welcomes the City of Joondalup’s push to rename Blackboy Park in Mullaloo.

Speaking to Community News after the council last night unanimously voted to seek advice on appropriate Aboriginal names to replace the racist name, Mr Hayden said it would be a “step towards helping the reconciliation process”.

‘Politically incorrect’ Blackboy Park on track to be renamed

“As an Aboriginal male, the term blackboy is offensive,” the Curtin University sessional academic said.

“When the first boats sailed down the Swan River and they saw the grasstrees along the side, they thought they were Aboriginal people and hence the name.”

Mr Hayden said the term was not just offensive to Aboriginal males in Perth but across the nation, with people referring to the Xanthorrhoea plant as a “grasstree or balga bush for the past 10 to 15 years”.

“There’s a time and place for political correctness but we need to move with the times,” he said.

“Personally, I would love to see it changed.”

He said the move to rename the park would also “help the process” of the Barnett Government’s Noongar Recognition Bill to “recognise the Noongar people as the first nation’s people”.

“It will go some way to recognise this Bill,” he said.

And as a director of the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aborigonal Corporation, Mr Hayden said he would be happy to sit down with anyone to discuss appropriate options.