A new street name in Sale has been unveiled to reflect the cultural heritage of the Gunaikurnai and their ancient connection to Country.
The lower end of Montgomery Street in Sale, which stretches from Guthridge Parade to Lake Guthridge, and runs between Sale Botanic Gardens, Sale Croquet Club and Sale Tennis Club, has been renamed “Nakunbalook Place”.
Geographic Names Victoria accepted Wellington Shire Council’s proposal to rename the western section of Montgomery Street to Nakunbalook Place earlier this year, and the name was officially gazetted on 2 February 2023.
Nakunbalook is the Gunaikurnai word meaning ‘Grandfather Gumtree’, which represents knowledge and place.
Nakunbalook Place complements nearby Brayakaulung Way, renamed from McIntosh Drive in 2011 to acknowledge the original custodians of the land, the Brayakaulung clan of the Gunaikurnai people.
The Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre, located at 33 Nakunbalook Place in Sale, is a joint project between Wellington Shire Council and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), providing a state-of-the-art facility to host events and learning programs focused on sustainability and connecting with culture. Set on the banks of Lake Guyatt, the centre is surrounded by many significant red gums with high cultural and biodiversity values.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Ian Bye said that the newly named Nakunbalook Place reflects the significance of Country and culture in Wellington Shire.
“Developing a strong relationship with our traditional landowners is vital to achieving our common environmental, cultural, social, and economic objectives. This work is highlighted as a key priority in the Council Plan 2021-25” Cr Bye said.
The land, air, and water (the climate) are fundamental to life, health, wellbeing, and survival. The Gunaikurnai have long recognised that they are sustained by Country, through the water, food, medicines, and materials it provides. Our challenge is to change our thinking to harness this fundamental wisdom.