In Planning

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham

Russell Island Makes The Shift To Aboriginal Name

Victor P Taffa

Moreton Bay’s Russell Island could be morphing into its Aboriginal name – Canaipa Island – and locals are being invited to have their say about it.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr. Anthony Lynham said Redland City Council, the Bay Islands Chamber of Commerce and the island’s traditional owners, the Quandamooka People, all supported the gradual change, which would start with a dual name.

“Dual naming is where two names co-exist until the Indigenous name is broadly accepted.” Dr. Lynham said.

“Initially the European name, Russell Island, appears first and the indigenous name, Canaipa Island, appears second.”

Submissions have opened on this first stage of the process and remain open until 29 July.

Dr. Lynham said the Canaipa Island name had deep cultural significance for the Quandamooka People.

“In the local dialect of the Bunjalung language Canaipa means place of ironbark spear.” Dr. Lynham said.

“The name Canaipa is well known and already exists as a name for the point on the island and the passage adjoining the island.”

“The dual naming proposal will also address the stigma attached to the name Russell Island. If the first change is supported, the name will then revert to Canaipa Island/Russell Island, until eventually the name Russell Island is discontinued and retained for historical purposes.” Dr. Lynham said.


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