Names of new Civic Precinct celebrate Aboriginal heritage

    Media Release | April 2021

    The City of Greater Geelong and Quintessential Equity have today announced the names of the two buildings that will make up Geelong’s new Civic Precinct, as well as the name of the ceremonial gathering circle planned for the new public space.

    The City’s new office will be known as ‘Wurriki Nyal’ (WUU-ruh-kih nee-YAHL), which are Wadawurrung words meaning ‘speak and talk together’. The precinct’s second building, owned by Quintessential Equity, will be called ‘Ngytan Koriayo’ (nee-YAHT-ern kohr-ri-AY-yoh) which means ‘look over the water, see all around Corio Bay’, highlighting the building’s views for visitors and staff.

    The names come from Wadawurrung language, the original language of Greater Geelong and its Traditional Owners, paying tribute to the rich Aboriginal culture and history of the region. The City and Quintessential Equity have worked closely with Traditional Owners, deciding the names based on a co-design approach.

    Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles said the level of collaboration between Traditional Owners and the precinct’s project team was unprecedented.

    “This is the first time in the Geelong region that a major project has had such a depth of collaborative engagement with our people into construction, design, story, place and language,” she said.

    Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the name of the City’s offices emphasised the importance of community dialogue and engagement in civic life.

    “Wurriki Nyal’ is a name that celebrates Greater Geelong’s strong Aboriginal heritage and symbolises our hopes for the future,” Mayor Asher said. “It is a wonderfully fitting name and a reminder that lively, respectful community discourse is at the heart of everything we do as a Council.

    “We hope the community will embrace the new name and the celebration of community spirit and togetherness it represents.”

    Quintessential Equity Executive Chairman Shane Quinn said the organisation was proud of the project’s close collaboration with Traditional Owners.

    “We are delighted to have worked with the Traditional Owners to ensure that their legacy lives on and endures through this precinct,” said Mr Quinn. “There’s knowledge built up over thousands of years which we hope will be reflected in this project – from its name, the design and what it represents.

    “At every possible stage this project celebrates all things local, and we hope the naming of the precinct will act as a reminder to the community to take a moment to honour Aboriginal peoples’ ongoing connection to the land.”

    Wadawurrung People built structured circles, sometimes referred to as yarning circles, on country as places of ceremonial business, gathering and celebration. In acknowledgement of this tradition, the precinct will incorporate a yarning circle at the heart of its new public space, with the Wadawurrung name ‘Gayoopanyoon Goopma’ (gye-OO-pahn-yoon GOOP-mah),meaning ’gather’.

    The City and Quintessential Equity also released an educational video featuring artwork by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Billy-Jay O’Toole and animated by local Geelong studio Pillowfort Creative. The video explores the meaning and significance of each name and outlines their pronunciation It can be viewed here: LINK.

    The project has prioritised support for the local economy, with 70 per cent of construction packages awarded to local businesses so far. Builder BESIX Watpac is also currently exceeding targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.

    The City’s offices are currently under construction and expected to be completed by mid 2022.

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