As part of their involvement in the Shepparton Education Plan’s Koorie Engagement Group, the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG) was tasked with facilitating the naming of the three Greater Shepparton Secondary College Neighbourhoods in Aboriginal language. A briefing paper was prepared outlining the purpose of the Shepparton Education Plan, the role of the Koorie Engagement Group and Greater Shepparton Secondary College’s request for the use of Aboriginal language in naming the Neighbourhoods.
This paper was distributed to Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Bangerang Aboriginal Corporation | Language Circle for consideration.Representatives from both organisations were invited to attend a meeting with Greater Shepparton Secondary College Executive Principal, Barbara O’Brien and members of the Shepparton Education Plan’s Koorie Engagement Group, inclusive of LAECG representation.
Three options, using Aboriginal language recognised by both Yorta Yorta and Bangerang were tabled and considered as Neighbourhood Names. Each option comprising of three names was themed, each theme holding cultural significance and a link to education. After broader consultation, the group met again and confirmed community endorsement for the following three words as Greater Shepparton Secondary College’s Neighbourhood Names:
Theme: Trees Name Pronunciation Translation
Neighbourhood 1 Biyala Bee-yar-lah River Red Gum
Neighbourhood 2 Dharnya Darn-yah Grey Box
Neighbourhood 3 Bayuna Bay-you-nah Yellow Box
The houses within each neighbourhood can be likened to a tree’s branches and the students, their leaves. It is fitting that the Neighbourhood Names are an element of country, as are the house names (rivers). Just as on country, trees line our regions waterways and provide a place for our young people to gather and connect. Trees are prominent fixtures on country, they stand tall within the landscape and carry great cultural significance for the local Aboriginal community. Trees have long been linked to traditional education, providing tools and resources for our people. They have been used to provide direction, share stories, carry out ceremony and shade community.These three trees; in particular are large in stature, hold an undeniable presence indicating their importance and show signs of continuous growth.The Greater Shepparton Secondary College Neighbourhood buildings are likewise large in stature, signifying the importance of education. They are rooted in history and will provide our students with shaded support and the tools and resources they need to grow.
Below is a map of the Greater Shepparton Secondary Site indicating the location of the Neighbourhoods and proposed names: