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Dual Naming

The provision of dual naming at significant sites across our city is important in acknowledging the Boandik Peoples as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land where Mount Gambier (Berrin) sits today.

The implementation of dual naming has been many years in the making and is a key action within Council’s Yerkalalpata Reconciliation Action Plan. In close collaboration with Elders, community leaders, Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation and the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Group, a Dual Naming Policy has been endorsed, highlighting the introduction of dual naming to six key initial sites and creating the framework for the consideration of additional names in the future.

The dual names are:

Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul (Bah-loom-bool)

Blue Lake/Warwar (Waa-wore)

Valley Lake/Ketla Malpi (Ket-lah mah-l-pi)

Leg of Mutton/Yatton Loo (Yah-ton-loo)

Browne Lake/Kroweratwari (Kroh-weh-rat-wah-ri)

Cave Garden/Thugi (Th-oo-gi)

Click on the Bunganditj name to hear the correct pronunciation.

The City of Mount Gambier will lead the process in implementing dual naming across the six key sites, commencing with digital publications and the gradual transition of signage and other references across the city.

We encourage our broader community to join with us in extending respect to our Boandik Peoples and all First Nations people who live in or connect with Mount Gambier through the adoption of each of the new dual names when communicating these sites in print or spoken form.

Council will continue to work alongside our community to assist with the transition towards the new names.

For more information about dual naming or any of Council’s reconciliation activities, please contact Council’s Reconciliation Project Officer on (08) 8721 2555 or email

Dual Naming FAQ

The term ‘dual naming’ means to apply two names to a place.

In this instance, dual naming refers to the provision of both a name provided during the period of European settlement in Australia alongside the known name for the same place in language spoken by Traditional Owners as the First Peoples of Australia.

All Australians share a relationship to the land and the names we give to places convey their significance, sense of history and identity.

Dual naming acknowledges our Boandik Peoples as the Traditional Owners of this land and highlights the important relationship between people, Country, and language.

Dual naming is recognised as an important step towards reconciliation and is becoming broadly adopted throughout Australia.

Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul - Buttercup flower

Cave Garden/Thugi - Bullfrogs

Leg of Mutton Lake/Yatton Loo - No reference

Blue Lake/Warwar - Crow country

Brownes Lake/Kroweratwari - Emus, their tracks

Valley Lake/Ketla Malpi - Sacred talking tree

The City of Mount Gambier has been working alongside our local First Nations community in the process of reconciliation for many years. Initial consultation in the development of Council’s first Reconciliation Action Plan highlighted the opportunity for the provision of dual names for a range of local sites of cultural significance.

It is acknowledged that this is an important step in the truth-telling process, acknowledging and demonstrating respect to our Boandik Peoples as the Traditional Owners of this land.

In February 2020, Council adopted its Yerkalalpata Reconciliation Action Plan of which dual naming was detailed a key action.

Dual naming will feature both the known European place name and the place name in Bunganditj – the reclaimed language of the Boandik Peoples from the South East of South Australia and Western Victoria.

While both names refer to the same place, neither names are a translation of one another and each are the name separately derived for the place.

The names should be separated by a slash or stroke – i.e. Blue Lake/Warwar.

Aligning to State Government Geographical Names Guidelines the Dual Naming Policy articulates that the name most commonly used by the local community should be shown first i.e. Blue Lake/Warwar.

Currently, as the most commonly known names of the six proposed sites are the European names, the Bunganditj names will appear second. However, should the use of the Bunganditj names become adopted as the most common reference to the place in the future, then the form should be modified to reflect this.

There are many known examples of this occurring. A well-known precedent is Ayers Rock/Uluru, which gradually became known as Uluru/Ayers Rock and the site is now referred to only as Uluru.

The Dual Naming Policy provides a framework for the naming of agreed sites of topographical or geographical significance. At this stage, only the six identified sites are dual named, but other sites of topographical or geological significance could be considered in the future and the policy creates a framework for this.

Should Council wish to consider a building or site without geographical or topographical significance, Council can still pursue this on its own terms, without direct reference to the Dual Naming Policy.

Council has been working closely with Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation and the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee to identify places of local significance and articulate agreed names and pronunciation.

Council maintains a framework of community engagement to ensure that our decisions are accurately informed by our collective cultural authority. This engagement includes:

  • Any reference groups engaged by Council to advise on matters relating to reconciliation such as a Reconciliation Action Plan Community Reference Group.
  • Recognised local community Elders.
  • Local Aboriginal Controlled Organisations such as Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation and Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation.
  • Members of the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee.

The new dual names for each of these sites were published in the State Government Gazette on Thursday 16 March 2023. At this point, the dual names became the new legal reference to each of these sites. Dual naming should be used in reference to these sites from that point onwards.

The Geographical Names Act 1991 states that where a geographical name has been assigned or approved in respect of a place under the Act: ‘A person must not produce or cause to be produced or display a document or advertisement in which another name is represented specifically or by implication as being the name of that place unless the geographical name or the approved name is also prominently represented’.

Put simply, now that the names have been adopted, they form the legal reference to these places. Under the Act, we all have a responsibility to adopt the dual names when producing or displaying reference to these places.

Unlike other languages, it’s important to note that the Bunganditj language is owned by the Boandik People. Its use is only respectfully achieved through the written approval of Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee.

As a powerful tool in fostering identity, it’s important that opportunities for the adoption of Bunganditj Language is prioritised for our Traditional Owners and First Nations community before all others. As a result, the adoption of Bunganditj should be respectful, gradual and phased in close collaboration with community leaders.

The use of Bunganditj Language in the process of achieving dual naming has been achieved with the approval of Burrandies and the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee.

All enquiries about Bunganditj or its use or application should be addressed to Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation and the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee. Go to for more information.