Some Vic residents think replacement of racist creek name is divisive

A creek in central Victoria with an extremely racist name will be given a new name derived from the local Aboriginal language following two unanimous council votes. The proposal, however, raised some objections – which is really not surprising – and it’s a fkn trick I tell you what.

Speak ABC, Hepburn Shire and Mount Alexander Shire councils both voted to change the name this week. It will see the Jim Crow Creek (named in the 1830s and running from Newstead and Hepburn) become the Larni Barramal Yaluk. A name suggested by the Dja Dja Wurrung community and traditional landowners.

The phrase “Jim Crow” is a deeply derogatory term linked to black segregation, racism, and slavery in the United States around the same time the creek was named.

But the decision didn’t come without some protests from 30 locals who thought the name was fine and didn’t need to be changed. I’m sorry, what?

Apparently some of the objections to the name change – which wouldn’t make it a deeply derogatory term and instead means “creek which is the home of the emu” in the Djaara language – thought the name wasn’t even racist at all. .

Again: what?

Of the 30 objections filed during the public consultation phase, some claimed that the replacement name was “too difficult to pronounce” and that the change to the name in the native language was “divisive”.

Again for the people in the back: WHAT?

Despite this absolute noise that left my head in my hands, more than 140 public submissions supported the change. Another 41 nearby residents didn’t respond to requests and were marked as giving “tacit approval” (which basically means they said “hmm that’s none of my business, then carry on”).

Mayor of Hepburn Tim Drylie told the ABC it was a ‘celebratory moment’ for the region and the local councilor Don Henderson added that they have to keep up with “time flies”.

“Captain Hepburn, if he were as educated as we are today, would not have called it Jim Crow Creek,” Mr Henderson said.

“We have to have a name for things, so let’s have a good name.”

Not bad, Don. Not false.

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Image: YouTube/Hepburn County Council

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