Place names in Melbourne
Where do the place names around us come from and what do they mean?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this site may contain the names, images, stories and voices of people now passed and resting in the Dreaming.
The Merri Creek, also known as the “Merri Merri” Creek, means “very rocky” in Woi-wurrung, the traditional language of this Country.
The Merri creek wound its way through a fertile flood plain, or terrace about 300 metres wide. Fertile soils in the area grew gum and paperbark trees, bottlebrush and tea-trees. The Moonee Ponds Creek, named after Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Ancestor, Moonee Monee, is older than the Merri Creek, originally cut as deep as 10 metres into the sandstone. This was the original landscape which provided the basis for the cultural, spiritual, economic and social lives of the Traditional Owners of Country.
Contact between the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Europeans occurred in 1835. The subsequent experience of colonisation and dispossession had devastating and ongoing consequences for the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people and other Aboriginal Victorians.
“We live in an unspoken shadow of catastrophic dispossession,” Uncle Andrew Gardiner, Wurundjeri Elder, and Deputy Chair of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation said.
"In less than 2 years,most of the current Moreland city area was declared the private property of just 29 men.”
“This destroyed our civilisation that had been in harmony with this country for tens of thousands of years."
“With our culture and community shattered, echoes of this devastation still reverberate today.”
In 1863, Ngurungaeta (“Leader”) Wonga and his maternal cousin Wiliam Barak, lead their surviving people across the Black Spur to the Upper Yarra and established Coranderrk Mission Station near Healesville on 2300 acres of land. Access to the land was granted, though importantly not as freehold.
Many other Aboriginal Victorians also settled at Coranderrk Station. The history of Coranderrk (1863 – 1924) is nothing less than extraordinary.
Remarkably, descendants of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people survived the very difficult decades immediately associated with colonisation and dispossession. The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people continue to live and work on Country including in the municipality of Moreland which remains part of their unceded territory.
Australia is the only country in the Commonwealth that does not currently have a Treaty with its First People. In 2018 the State of Victoria passed a legislation to progress Treaty with Aboriginal Victorians.
Content approved by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
Council recognises that this is by no means a complete retelling of the Aboriginal history of the local area, nor is it the only way that even this small part of the story could be told. We also recognise that contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history within our municipality, and further afield, is constantly evolving. Much of the contemporary history remains with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to whom it belongs.
Where do the place names around us come from and what do they mean?
Do you have questions about the renaming?
Find some answers here.
Resources that you can use to consider and discuss
Events where you can join the conversation
Take me to the survey
Merri-bek City Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional custodians of the lands and waterways in the area now known as Merri-bek, and pays respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging, as well as to all First Nations’ communities who significantly contribute to the life of the area.
Merri-bek City Council takes the privacy of the participants using this site very seriously.
Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is regulated by the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. You can find more information about your privacy rights at the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.
This privacy statement applies to the Conversations Merri-bek website.
The following Terms and Conditions govern the use of Conversations Merri-bek (“the site”). The software platform is owned by Harvest Digital Planning Pty Ltd (Harvest) and operated by Merri-bek City Council.
What are the conditions with a user’s account?
We are not responsible for the content on the site that has been provided by the users of the site. Any content posted by you is subject to the rules of our Moderation Policy. Your contribution to the site may be edited, removed or not published if we consider it inappropriate (refer to Moderation Policy). Contributors should also be aware that their posts may remain online indefinitely. Where practical, you may choose not to identify yourself, deal with us on an anonymous basis or use a pseudonym.
What do we require from our users?
You must understand and agree that, without limitation:
Can your account be suspended or terminated?
We may terminate or suspend access to your site and/or account immediately, without prior notice, including without limitation if you breach the Terms. We may immediately deactivate or delete your account and all the related files and information in your account. After your account has been terminated, the content you have posted may also remain indefinitely on the site.
If you want to terminate your own account, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These Terms shall be governed in accordance with the laws of Victoria, Australia, without regards to its conflict of law provisions.
Merri-bek City Council, its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, licensors and other partners are not responsible for any loss, liability, claim, or demand, including legal fees, made by any third party due to or arising from a breach of this agreement and/or any breach of your representations and warranties set forth above.
What content do we own?
This website contains the copyrighted material, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and other proprietary information (“Intellectual Property”) of Merri-bek City Council and its suppliers and licensors. Merri-bek City Council owns and retains all proprietary rights in the intellectual property. All intellectual property in the content of this site including without limitation to text, software, source code, pages, documents and online graphics, photographs, sounds, audio, video and other interactive features are owned by or licensed to us.
Any original content that you submit or post on our site may be made available to the public and allows users to share your content (with the end user acknowledging your contribution) under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Australian License.
Except for Intellectual Property which is in the public domain or for which you have been given written permission, you may not copy, alter, transmit, sell, distribute any of the Intellectual Property on this site.
We are not responsible for your communications or dealings, including payment and delivery of goods or services, with a third party found via our website. Any loss or damage incurred from those communications or dealings are solely between the user and the third party.
Disclaimer and Warranties
Users must agree that you use of the site is at your own risk. We make no warranty that the site will meet your requirements or be uninterrupted or error-free. Any material that the user downloads through the site is done at their own risk and are responsible for any damages to their computer system or loss of data.
What happens if these Terms change?
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time without notice. The most recent version of the Terms can be seen on this page. By continuing to access or use our site after those revisions become effective, you agree and will comply to the revised terms. If you do not agree to the revised terms, please discontinue using our site.
If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us at email@example.com.
Creating an account helps us better understand your needs and the needs of the community.
Sign up with email
Already have an account? Log in now
Thank you, your account has been created.
Completing the questions below helps us better understand the diverse range of people who contribute their ideas. The questions are optional.