THE Wiradyuri community has called on Bathurst mayor Gary Rush to live up to what they say was his promise to add the word “Wahluu” to Mount Panorama.
But Cr Rush has denied making the promise to add the word to the landmark permanently, though he says Wahluu could be used in promotions for the Mount.
The official gazetting of Wahluu as the dual name for Mount Panorama was approved in April, 2015.
The Wiradyuri community has since urged Bathurst Regional Council to officially add the Aboriginal name for the Mount to the landmark.
Ray Wilson and elder Kalmadyne Goombrydge, of Bathurst’s Aboriginal community, are again leading that push.
“It’s the traditional name of the Mount,” Mr Wilson said.
While he applauded the work Cr Rush had done with the Wiradyuri community, he has called for action.
“Twice the mayor has promised Wahluu up there,” he said.
Cr Rush said this was a commitment he didn’t make.
“I never made that promise, but the comment that I have made to them is what we have to understand is that it is an opportunity,” he said.
“It has a strong brand name already. We need to determine how we brand it because many people in Australia and across the world know it as that [Mount Panorama].”
Cr Rush said there had been no formal discussions about how Mount Panorama would be promoted into the future, but he did not discount using the word Wahluu.
“We could use Wahluu as part of that promotion,” he said.
Councillor Michael Coote also wants a change to the Mount: he wants “Bathurst” added below the existing sign.
The Western Advocate reported earlier this month that Cr Coote said the word Bathurst should be a permanent feature, rather than just painted on for special occasions like the Bathurst 1000.
It’s the traditional name of the Mount.Wiradyuri man Ray Wilson
“I’m pretty sure all the councillors are on board to have it done in rock,” he said.
But, Mr Wilson said the addition of the world Wahluu would help to bind the wider community and likened it to the widely-accepted naming of Ayers Rock/Uluru in the Northern Territory.
“It gives it importance and makes people ask the question [about the Wiradyuri culture],” Mr Wilson said.
He said talk of naming the planned kart track on the Mount as Wahluu would not be accepted by the Wiradyuri community.
“The top of Mount Panorama is a men’s place,” Mr Wilson said.
“Where they’re proposing to put the kart track is a women’s place and you can’t put a man’s name on a women’s place.”
Mr Goombrydge said adding the word Wahluu would highlight the important Wiradyuri heritage in the Bathurst region.
“There’s no point engaging with the culture if we don’t showcase it,” he said
Story of Wahluu
WAHLUU (Mount Panorama), Mount Canobolas and Mount Stewart were three brothers in traditional Wiradyuri stories.
“Wahluu had an argument with his brothers over a girl and the brothers threw a rock at Wahluu’s head and he fell down,” Mr Wilson said.
“What you see is Wahluu laying down resting.”