Southern Peninsula News 23 June 2020

Page 7

NEWS DESK

Yawa favored for pool centre name Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au AS the time for voting on a name for the $50 million aquatic centre draws to a close Aboriginals and their supporters are making it clear that Yawa is their preferred title. Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors last month rejected a recommendation that the aquatic centre be called Gunawarra and instead shortlisted five names for a public vote. However, the councillors gave no guarantee that the most popular name would be adopted. The five shortlisted names are: Gunawarra Aquatic Centre; Rosebud Aquatic Centre; Barbawar Aquatic Centre; Yawa Aquatic Centre; and Tides Aquatic Centre. Gunawarra means black swan, barbawar stingray and yawa to swim. A declaration on the shire’s website invites “the community to vote for their favourite name”, adding that “the name with the majority of votes will be presented as the preferred name of the aquatic centre, for consideration and final endorsement” by councillors. There is a concerted push by long time supporters of the aquatic centre for it to be called Rosebud Aquatic Centre although council officers say Geographic Names Victoria has stated that “Rosebud should … be avoided as it is commonly used in the vicinity and could cause confusion”. The Hastings-based Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association’s executive officer Peter Aldenhoven says an

AN online poll to gauge ratepayers’ feeling for a name for the new aquatic centre being at Rosebud closes next month. Mornington Peninsula Shire will then cast their votes to decide on a name. Picture: Yanni Aboriginal name for the aquatic centre would be “a wonderful opportunity for the Mornington Peninsula community to make a strong reconciliation statement by acknowledging the First Peoples of the country we all live on”. In a statement on the association’s Facebook page Mr Aldenhoven urged voters to support one of the three Aboriginal names. Comments on the association’s Facebook page on Friday (19 July) were running 15 to one in favour of Yawa. The only dissenting opinion opted for Rosebud Aquatic Centre because “it is easy to identify with the area”. A comment on that post said “Indigenous names always identify with the environment which in turn tells us something about the area”. The council’s decision to reject its officers’ recommendation to name the

aquatic centre Gunawarra and defer voting on a name for the aquatic centre was made on National Sorry Day (“Shire’s ‘ugly’ Sorry Day decision” The News 1/6/20). The following day, Wednesday 27 May, the shire issued a “Celebrating National Reconciliation Week 2020” news release which quoted the mayor Cr Sam Hearn as saying the council had “an important role to play in promoting and celebrating Aboriginal cultural heritage, arts and cultures as part of the intrinsic identity and value of the Mornington Peninsula”. He said the shire was “proud to be working with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support meaningful social, cultural and economic outcomes. We know that to do this, strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander com-

munities must be at the heart of our work”. In a report to council’s 26 May meeting, the shire’s operations project manager for sport and recreation Amy Frost said the three suggested Aboriginal names “provide an opportunity to create a unique destination brand and an original narrative”. Ms Frost said Gunawarra Aquatic Centre “aligns with the naming criteria as it is unique, positive, memorable and has endearing qualities”. “The name Gunawarra has strong links to the local area and reflects the local Indigenous language.” Voting for the aquatic centre’s name closes Thursday 9 July. To vote, go to: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.

Libraries open across shire MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire libraries at Mornington, Rosebud, Somerville and Hastings are open but with controls on numbers allowed inside after COVID-19 restrictions were eased on Monday (22 June). Libraries will continue to run at reduced hours until 4 July when hours are expected to return to normal. All public programs, including Storytime, will continue online “for the time being”. Safety measures are in place with a concierge at the door to track numbers and to record visitors’ details. Hand sanitiser will be available and extra cleaning of all high-touch surfaces, computers and self-serve checkouts, will be done. The Mobile Library will not resume due to physical distancing requirements. The Outreach Vehicle library service will continue to run Thursdays and Fridays. Hastings, Mornington, Rosebud and Somerville libraries will open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Normal opening hours resume Saturday 4 July. Computers are available for 60-minute bookings and return chutes are open 24/7. The Library cafe at Mornington will sell take away. Details: ourlibrary.mornpen. vic.gov.au Call the libraries at Hastings, 5950 1710; Mornington, 5950 1820; Rosebud, 5950 1230; and Somerville, 5978 0834.

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Southern Peninsula News

24 June 2020

PAGE 7


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