The Andrews Labor Government has officially changed the name of Mt Eccles National Park to Budj Bim National Park, restoring the Aboriginal name and recognising the area’s Aboriginal history and significance.
Changing the name acknowledges the cultural importance of the Budj Bim area, which has been identified by scholars as the world’s first engineering project, dating back at least 6600 years and preceding Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Egypt.
The Gunditjmara people view Budj Bim (meaning high head) as part of the ancestral creator’s body, which was revealed in the shape of the mountain following a volcanic eruption; with his forehead as the mountain and stones as the teeth.
The Budj Bim region is listed as a National Heritage Landscape. In January this year the Budj Bim region was put on Australia’s list for World Heritage nomination to recognise the unique cultural heritage of permanent houses, fishtraps, channels and weirs for growing and harvesting eels created by Gunditjmara people 6600 years ago.
The name change also includes the peak of the mountain, which will now be known as the Budj Bim peak.
Announcing the name change was a part of the celebrations marking the ten year anniversary of Native Title for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, which represents the Gunditjmara people.
Budj Bim National Park is cooperatively managed by Parks Victoria and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners through the Budj Bim Council.
Parks Victoria ran extensive community consultation on the name change, which received over 1,000 responses.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“This is one of the nation’s most significant historical sites. It’s a great asset for the state and a wonderful tourist drawcard.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is very pleased to be able to make this name change as the Gunditjmara people celebrate the ten year anniversary of Native Title.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Changing the name to Budj Bim is an important step in engaging the community with this park and acknowledging the significance of the Gunditjmara culture and history.”
“The Budj Bim National Park will bring increased visitor spending and help strengthen the local economy.”