• Dr Hagan said a review should be done of all place names, not just those with the 'N' word. (National Parks Queensland)Source: National Parks Queensland
Changing the names of places with the N word in the title is barely scratching the surface, says Indigenous academic.
By
Jarni Blakkarly

29 Aug 2017 - 2:52 PM  UPDATED 29 Aug 2017 - 2:54 PM

Queensland is still full of racist place names that need to be changed, not just those with the N word, according to Indigenous academic and activist Stephen Hagan. 

Dr Hagan ran a decade long campaign to remove the word ‘N*****’ from the Toowoomba Sports Ground and said that offensive place names with that word was just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s just a small percentage of the number of offending public signs that are around the place that should be moved,” Mr Hagan told NITV News.

“They are a sign of a racist past, and our racist past ought to be eradicated from our view today.”

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Queensland moves to remove racist place names such as N***** Creek
Government department reviews racist place names after community concerns about the N word.

The Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Department began a review of place names in its database following complaints in May about the offensive place name "N****** Bounce" in north Queensland.

There are a number of other racist names in the state including Mount N*****, N***** Head and seven instances of N***** Creek.

A Department spokesman told NITV News that ten places with the offending word had been identified and that the names had been “discontinued”.

“There would be a lot of communities around Queensland celebrating, but I just hope that there aren’t some racist signs or public buildings that haven’t been overlooked in this change,” Mr Hagan said.

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Mr Hagan challenged the Toowoomba Sports Ground to remove the N word from the ‘E.S “N*****” Brown Stand’, named after the Aboriginal rugby league player.

His legal challenge took him through the Federal Courts as well as the United Nations in Geneva, where in 2003 he got a ruling that the name should be changed.

He said it was important that the focus on the N word didn’t distract from other place-names which also needed to be changed. 

“They’re everywhere, [racist place names] Gins Leap, Murdering point, N***** Head Reef,” Mr Hagan said.

“I would like to think they would allocate some resources to get a sub-committee together to go around and identify places that are offensive to Aboriginal people,” Mr Hagan said.

“K’Gari is the new interactive doco from SBS that explores the real history behind Fraser Island. The online interactive animation can be accessed here: sbs.com.au/kgari”

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