The Australian Capital Territory community has elected to name Molonglo’s new public school in honour of Indigenous rights activist Dr Evelyn Scott.
ACT education minister Yvette Berry unveiled the name of the school late last week. It will be the first school in the ACT to be named after an Indigenous woman and is set to open in 2021.
Ms Berry told NITV News that the community was very engaged in selecting the name and said she believed that it was an opportunity to preserve the legacy of Dr Scott through recognition of her contribution to Reconciliation.
She said the school would commemorate Dr Scott’s legacy through its values and respect for First Nations peoples and that Dr Scott's legacy would provide a strong sense of cultural integrity for the school, its students and the broader community.
The minister acknowledged Dr Scott's key role in establishing Aboriginal legal services, housing societies, and medical service in Queensland during her lifetime.
"I know the school principal is excited to have the school named after such an amazing person and I am sure that Dr Evelyn Scott will be celebrated,” she said.
The name was selected by the local community via an ACT government survey. Canberrans were asked to choose their preferred name from a list of five options: Isabel Coe School, Ngingali Cullen School, Evelyn Scott School, Arnold Hunter School, and John Budby School.
Dr Scott is recognised as a social activist and educator, who has been widely celebrated for her 1960s activism in campaigning for the 1967 Constitutional Referendum and her involvement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advancement League.
Evelyn Scott School principal, Jackie Vaughan, told The Canberra Times that she had spoken with Dr Scott’s family when the name was selected and is excited to have the school named after an “inspirational trailblazer”.
"It was my great privilege to inform Evelyn Scott's family that the new school in Molonglo will be named in her honour," Ms Vaughan told the Times.
The school, which will be located in Molonglo Valley, located 10 kilometres west of Canberra city, will open its doors for preschool to year six students next year, and will welcome high school students in years seven to ten in 2023.