Fitting city name

WITH the merger of the Kalamunda and Belmont councils, Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey has said that she would like to see it be renamed as the “City of Roe” after John Septimus Roe, the State’s first surveyor-general.

Ms Godfrey also said it because the name was independent and the Roe Highway passes through the area.

I believe John Roe has been more than honoured enough in this State (also in other States) as have many other European people (including British royalty) when it comes to the naming of places, such as towns and streets in WA.

It is significant that the State Government is soon to introduce to Parliament a Bill for the recognition of the Noongar people as the traditional owners of lands in the south-west of our State.

It is to our shame that from the time of European settlement in Western Australia that there has been no real or substantial recognition of the people who have inhabited the area around Perth for 40,000 years before European settlement.

I put forward the name of “City of Wajuk” for the merger of Kalamunda (an Aboriginal name-place) and Belmont. The Wajuk people are part of the broader Noongar nation and are the original inhabitants and traditional custodians with a spiritual connection to the area.

When the British settled in the Swan River Colony,the country of the Wajuk people was cleared for farming and they lost their traditional sources of food such as a particular type of yam that was their staple food and many Wajuk people died and the survivors moved onto reserves.

The ‘City of Wajuk” pays a long-overdue recognition to the people who have lived here for thousands of years and suffered hardship and deprivation from their land with European colonisation.

KEVIN BETTRIDGE, Rivervale