New park signs in the City of Sydney’s green spaces now welcome people with the words bujari gamarruwa, which means ‘good day’ in the language of the traditional custodians of this land, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said adding the Acknowledgement of Country and the welcome words to the signs in the City’s parks was an important way to recognise the traditional custodians of the place we now call Sydney.
“Australia’s First Peoples have a resilient living culture that the City is deeply committed to acknowledging, sharing and celebrating,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Including these important messages on park signs will boost awareness of our shared cultural history and lay the groundwork for a future that embraces all Australians and promotes mutual respect and shared responsibility for our land.”
The new signs, which also include park history and other information, have been installed in all the City’s major parks reminding everyone about the cultural significance of Sydney’s important green spaces.
The first sign was unveiled today at Reconciliation Park, Redfern, with a ceremony that included the Lord Mayor, local elders, chief executive of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Lands Council Nathan Moran, local schoolchildren and community members, and the winners of the 1998 Name-the-Park competition.
The Gadigal words bujari gamarruwa were sourced from University of Sydney Professor Jakelin Troy’s The Sydney Language – the most comprehensive Gadigal word list published and accepted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The words are spelt phonetically rather than historically, making them easier for visitors to pronounce, and helping reawaken Aboriginal language and highlight its cultural significance.
Professor Troy, who worked with the City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel on the wording for the signs, has praised the initiative for bringing the Gadigal language to more people.
“Anytime the language of the city is used, we hear the voices of the Gadigal people from before 1788 right up to now,” Professor Troy said.
“The Gadigal story is a remarkable one because of its cultural strength – the strength of these people who’ve been able to live with these changes and continued to be Gadigal people.
“As an Aboriginal person, it’s been uplifting to work together as people of Sydney, where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, to acknowledge the Gadigal with these signs.
“Whether you’re Indigenous or not, these signs are an important recognition and embracing of place.”
Promoting our First People’s culture and language is part of the City’s first Reconciliation Action Plan, released last year. This outlines how the City will work towards improving relationships between non-Indigenous Australians and its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.