Debate over Lake Monger name reignites

It was a meeting place for Aboriginal people, who knew it as Galup, but today Lake Monger still bears the name of settler John Henry Monger.

UWA Indigenous Studies Professor and Australian Research Council chief investigator Len Collard has thrown his support behind a push to restore Lake Monger’s Aboriginal name.

“There is a powerful shift by Noongar intellectuals to reclaim the names of places,” Prof Collard said.

“The original name was Lake Galup or Kalup, which is the ‘home fire’ or ‘location of home’; hence, that’s where people lived.

“It was the centre of our world.

“I’ve seen literature refer to it as the first Perth; it was the centre of people’s commerce.”

In 1996, the City of Subiaco and the Geographic Names Committee, Aboriginal Affairs Department and Aboriginal Sites Register restored the name of Shenton Park Lake to Lake Jualbup.

Subiaco’s chief executive at the time, Patrick Walker, said the Aboriginal name change was a significant and appropriate step toward reconciliation.

Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon said she would investigate whether there was support to change the name of Lake Monger.

“I think it’s really important to acknowledge the cultural significance,” Ms Shannon said.

“Absolutely it’s worth putting it to the council; it is something I would like to investigate.

“I don’t have a problem with it.”

Cambridge acting chief executive Jason Lyon said the Town received a request to recognise the lake’s Aboriginal name during consultation for the Lake Monger Management Plan 2007-2008.

“During the course of the consultation, a request was made to council to recognise the Aboriginal name Galup for Lake Monger,” Mr Lyon said.

“As a result of this request, the council endorsed the inclusion of the name Galup on one of the interpretive signs installed at the lake last year.

“In addition, the name Galup is included on three entry statement signs due to be installed at the lake in April this year.”