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Podcast: Closing the map: Restoring Aboriginal place names

A map of Australia shows you place names with different origins -- some are first nations words, others are European hand me downs.

Some Aboriginal names are so iconic like Noosa or Wollongong that we don't even think about them.

K'gari was named for the Butchulla spirit who helped create the land and sea and then never wanted to leave. Photo: Shutterstock

K'gari was named for the Butchulla spirit who helped create the land and sea and then never wanted to leave. Photo: Shutterstock

But often these First Nations names encapsulate a rich history in just one word -- a story, a spirit. But over two centuries of displacement many have been lost or erased, along with the languages and the people who originally spoke them. You can read about this country's brutal history through its place names.

But some names are coming back -- Uluru was only called Ayers Rock for a brief moment in its history, we now know it by its true, Pitjantjatjara name.

Our colonial place names are given to honour people who might not have really done the honourable thing by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Butchulla woman Rose Barrowcliffe

On this episode of the Voice of Real Australia podcast we meet people campaigning for Australia's old names to be brought back, particularly when the story their new name tells is one of hate and violence.

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This story Restoring Aboriginal place names to acknowledge identity and history first appeared on Newcastle Herald.