• A general view is seen along the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The request follows wider efforts to remove the controversial pioneer’s name from public places and buildings.
NITV Staff Writer

18 Jul 2018 - 3:37 PM  UPDATED 18 Jul 2018 - 3:37 PM

A proposal by a council in Melbourne's inner-north to remove the name “Batman” from a local park has been rejected.

Darebin Council wanted to rename the park Gumbri in honour of the Wurundjeri Elder who was also known as Jessie Hunter.

She was the great niece of the Wurundjeri land rights activist William Barak, and the last Aboriginal girl to be born on Victoria’s Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve. Her name means ‘white dove’.

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The name change was endorsed by the Wurundjeri Tribe Council but opposed by Gumbri’s sons, Ian and Gary Hunter, who said they had not been consulted and did not agree with the council.

The proposal was rejected by the Office of Geographic Names.

Other name proposals put forward by the Traditional Owners include Billebellary and Be Be Jern.

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Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the council remained committed to renaming Batman Park.

“We will now start again and look at new options for names for the park in partnership with the Wurundjeri Council,” she said.

“This project reflects Darebin Council’s commitment to recognition and respect for the original owners of the land, acknowledgement of our shared history and recognition that the land is vital to the cultural, spiritual and physical identity of the Wurundjeri people.”

"This was not about replacing one name with another, but is about giving visibility to the world’s oldest living culture."

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The name change is part of wider effort to remove Batman’s name from public places and buildings.

Darebin Council and the Greens have argued that the pioneer was involved in the massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania before he helped found Melbourne in 1835.

Last month, the Australian Electoral Commission renamed inner-city federal seat of Batman in honour of Indigenous rights campaigner William Cooper.