Fraser Island reverted to its Aboriginal name K'gari after a longcampaign by the Butchulla people. The name change was formally adopted by the World Heritage Committee recently and celebrated by Butchulla representatives and Elders on the 19th of September. A huge win for the those that have been campaigning the name change for years!
Why the name 'Fraser Island' is offensive...
The name 'Fraser Island' is after a Scottish woman, Eliza Fraser, who was shipwrecked on the island in 1836 and claimed to have been captured and abused by its native inhabitants. She also claimed that the Butchulla people roasted people alive, killed her husband and tortured, speared and wounded her before she escaped. Her allegations led to a massacre of the native Butchulla people on the island.
Other colonial names areblunt remindersof this kind of violence. For example, Murdering Creek, Massacre Bay and Skull Creek indicate violent acts that occurred in those places!
What does K'gari mean?
K'gari (Pronounced 'Gurri') from the Butchulla language means 'paradise', a fitting name for the iconic location. North Stradbroke and Moreton Islands have also reverted to their Indigenous names Minjerribah and Mulgumpin.
This name change recognises and honours the Butchulla people and their traditions, culture and ongoing connection to country. Share this blog with your K'gari island loving bestie! 🌴