INDIGENOUS names for some of Newcastle’s most recognised icons will take priode of place in new signage as part of a trial in the city.
Smart City technology will bring the language of the Worimi and Awabakal peoples to the forefront, with signs listing the traditional names for landmarks including the harbour, Nobbys headland and Shepherds Hill.
The signs, which also feature the traditional stories of each place, will also use a sensor to recognise when people walk past, triggering the sign to play a recording pronouncing the traditional name.
The council is also working in a partnership to develop a virtual reality package depicting Newcastle’s landscape prior to European settlement.
"It is fantastic that the use of technology can actually bring us closer to Aboriginal heritage, and help us to preserve and educate about Indigenous heritage and language," lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"The interactive signage and the VR package are exciting examples of how smart city tools and technology can be applied to very specific uses. I'm very proud of this effort to honour and preserve Aboriginal culture in our region."
The full virtual reality package will be released during NAIDOC Week.
Names on the signs include Whibayganba (Nobbys head), Tahibihn (Flagstaff Hill), Khanterin (Shepherds Hill), Yohaaba (Port Hunter), Burrabihngarn (Pirate Point), Coquun (Hunter River south channel), Toohrnbing (Ironbark Creek”, and Burraghihnbihng (Hexham swamp).
In 2013 Newcastle City Council unanimously backed a push for dual naming of the city’s landmarks as a “reconciliation initiative”.