• The renamed Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Regional Reserve (SA Government)Source: SA Government
Munga-Thirri, which translates to "sandhill country", is now a part of the official name for the Simpson Desert Conservation Park.
Douglas Smith

31 Jan 2019 - 5:55 PM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2019 - 5:55 PM

The Simpson Desert Conservation Park has been given a new official name in the language of the Wangkangurru Yarluyandi people.

The park, which sits in the desert of the same name in far north-east of South Australia, will now be known as the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve.

The Simpson Desert, the world's largest sand dune desert, sprawls across the boundaries of Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland. It was named after the president of Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, A. A. Simpson in 1929.

Stephen Bromley, chairman of the Wangkangurru Yarluyandi Aboriginal Corporation, said the park's new name recognised "have always been" the country of his people.

“The Wangkangurru Yarluyandi Traditional Owners of the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert parks welcome the recognition of their continuing connection to Country, through the co-naming of the Parks,” he said in a statement.

“The name Munga-Thirri means 'big sandhill country' in our language and reflects the country’s topographic make-up.

“The inclusion of our traditional name is important as it pays respect to our ancestors who have lived in the parks for centuries.

“We feel good in ourselves that we’ve honoured our ancestors by making this happen.

“All the other groups around the state have their name on major sites, like Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre and Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges,” he said.

David Speirs, the South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, said the new name and management plan demonstrated a “collaborative partnership” between traditional owners and the state government.

“The plan reflects the aspirations of the traditional owners for their country, and is enriched with language, knowledge and stories of connection to the land,” he said.