MEDIA REPORT | Time is right for dual name plan for Mount Canobolas

Orange deputy mayor Gerald Power

A STORY thousands of years old about a falling out between two brothers is set to become part of Orange’s identity.

The district’s best-known landmark Mount Canobolas will also carry the name Gaanha-bula to reflect the area’s First Nations’ significance if a motion to be discussed at next Tuesday’s Orange City Council meeting is successful.

With the backing of local Wiradjuri elders, Orange’s deputy mayor Gerald Power will move Orange City Council considers the dual naming, along with OCC including the words Wiradjuri Country as part of its address.

Cr Power said Tuesday night’s discussion was the first step for Gaanha-bula appearing alongside Mt Canobolas, considering it is situated in the surrounding Cabonne Shire.
But the support of the Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council and district elders has him in a positive frame of mind.

“I think we are in a beautiful time to move forward,” Cr Power said referring to the Albanese Government’s commitment to enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Constitution.
In relaying the story passed to him by elders before, Wiradjuri elder Uncle Neil Ingram tells of two brothers who fell out over a migay (beautiful young woman) with Gaanha-bula losing a contest and striking Wahluu who fell to the ground.  Wiradjuri lore says Mt Panorama is Wahluu.

A Juru Nation-Kanaka man, Cr Power believes the dual naming of arguably Orange’s best-known landmark will continue the spirit of healing in the district.
“Healing, acknowledgement, I think all of the words are involved in the mount [plan]. Respect, always was and always will be,” he said.
“Healing country is about healing all these aspects of understanding in relation to First Nations people.”

Cr Power believes the wider community is gaining a better understanding of the Gaanha-bula’s cultural significance.

“The sacred sites around here are just being notified, a recognition of these sacred sites, people say wow, we knew nothing about these sacred sites.
Cr Power said OCC support was the first step before the Orange LALC lodges an application to the Geographical Names Board.

“The CEO [Annette Steele] said to me, brilliant, what a fantastic thing,” Cr Power said.
“It will still need to go through Cabonne Shire but I think we’ve got a good working relationship to endorse that, if the Lands Council do the leading on it.”
Cr Power said he had invited community elders to speak on the proposal at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“The Wiradjuri community is very much in support and excited about it.”

The original of this Report by Kate Bowyer appeared  in Central Western Daily, July 30 2022