Proposed Barangaroo names

MillersPointNaming

The point, the harbour headland and the Headland Park should continue to be known as Millers Point.

This submission to the Geographical Names Board is made on behalf of the Friends of Millers Point. It is made following discussions with:

  • Friends of Millers Point Working Party
  • Barangaroo Development Authority
  • Millers Point Resident Action Group
  • Millers Point Public Housing Tenants Group
  • 99-year leaseholders and owners in Millers Point and Dawes Point.

BARANGAROO POINT / BARANGAROO POINT RESERVE

The Friends of Millers Point object to the name Barangaroo Point for a point of land located in Sydney Harbour, south of Millers Point on the northern shoreline of Nawi Cove; and object to the name Barangaroo Point Reserve for a reserve in the northern extent of the suburb of Barangaroo, extending from Barangaroo Point to Millers Point.

The point, the harbour headland and the Headland Park should continue to be known as Millers Point.

Until now, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority has referred to the northern section of the Barangaroo development as Headland Park. A headland is a coastal landform, a point of land usually high and often with a sheer drop, that extends out into a body of water. A headland has water on three sides; a bay has land on three sides. In this instance it appears the terms headland and Headland Park were synonymous with the the geographical feature the locals have known as Millers Point.

The Community and Stakeholder Relations Manager for the Barangaroo Development Authority has directed residents and the Friends of Millers Point to a map produced by the Sydney Morning Herald to show the differences between Millers Point and Barangaroo Point. This map shows Millers Point as the name of a geographical feature and also the name of a suburb near this point. Barangaroo Point Reserve is the name proposed for Headland Park at the northern end of the Barangaroo development and also the proposed name for a point at the southwest corner of Headland Park.

barangarooSMH

All of this seems very confusing. There are many opportunities for confusion if both names persist even though the Barangaroo Delivery Authority believes the two names are for distinctly different places.

This anticipated confusion is the first objection to the adoption of the names Barangaroo Point and Barangaroo Point Reserve.

If the name Millers Point is erased entirely from the harbour headland and Headland Park it is possible there would be less confusion. Below is the diagram provided by the BDA when it was canvassing public opinion regarding what to name other features within the Barangaroo development. The name Millers Point is omitted entirely. The name Barangaroo Point stands in for both the harbour headland and Headland Park. Below the BDA’s diagram is the BDA’s photograph that accompanied the announcement of the naming of Barangaroo Point. The stone is not engraved with the word Reserve and it is not near the point proposed to be named Barangaroo Point. It is directly in front of the point already named Millers Point. The name in the photograph has been overwritten to correct this error.

The erasure of the name Millers Point from the harbour headland and Headland Park is the second objection to the adoption of the names Barangaroo Point and Barangaroo Point Reserve.

barangaroopoint

Before it was named Barangaroo, this part of Sydney has a long history of being Millers Point. Below are two 19th-century photos of what is now Barangaroo but was Millers Point. One photo shows children, presumably from Millers Point, swimming in the harbour. The other photo shows the houses, stores, wharves and ships that stretched across Millers Point in the 19th century. Where people lived, worked and played was all the same place: Millers Point.

Below these photos is an earlier depiction of Millers Point. This 1840s watercolour by Fowler includes one of the windmills at the end of Windmill Street after which Jack the Miller’s Point was named. The windmill itself appears to be built on the bluff at the top of what is now the Headland Park.

There is a still-earlier image that the BDA chose to include on its two-page information sheet when it presented to the public and the media its Headland Park Major Works Application. This idyllic scene shows an example of the images that inspired the BDA to recreate a naturalistic headland. The only substantial and permanent structures in the image are the windmills of Millers Point.

The images of the harbour headland from long ago make one thing apparent. The entire harbour headland was named Millers Point. It was not simply a name for a spot at the base of the headland. Furthermore, the windmills were there long before the name was chosen, and it is likely it was known by a name similar to Millers Point long before the name was official. When the name Millers Point was chosen almost 200 years ago, there was no confusion about which point was Millers Point.

Names matter. When a European place in Australia has held a name for almost 200 years, and its naming was based on activities that stretch back further still, then this is a name that should be respected and celebrated.

Removing or doing anything that adds confusion to the name Millers Point is disrespectful to the history of our entire country, and this is the third reason for objecting to these proposed name changes.

The NSW Government is half way through a two-year program to ‘relocate’ all the long-term residents of Millers Point, many of whom have links to the 19th-century maritime history of Millers Point. It appears these long-term residents, their families and their histories have not so far been included in any of the material saved, celebrated and presented as the official history of  Barangaroo. A significant initiative to capture the history and stories of the area is recorded in The Road to Barangaroo. The omission of the people of Millers Point in The Road to Barangaroo has been pointed out to BDA and Lend Lease community liaison officers, and it is hoped this will encourage these bodies to include relevant material about the long-term residents of Millers Point in future resources.

Omitting the people of Millers Point and all things that might be identified with them from the Barangaroo development is the fourth reason for objecting to these proposed name changes.

The point, the harbour headland and the Headland Park should continue to be known as Millers Point.

1870_swimming_Barangaroo

Barangaroo_c.1870

1840s watercolour of Millers Point

naturalistic

OTHER PROPOSED BARANGAROO NAMES

The Friends of Millers Point object to the other names proposed for Barangaroo, namely:

  • Nawi Cove for a cove on the western shoreline of the suburb of Barangaroo, situated south of Barangaroo Point.
  • Watermans Cove for a cove on the western shoreline of the suburb of Barangaroo, adjacent to the intersection of Barangaroo Avenue and Watermans Quay.
  • Marrinawi Cove for a cove located at the northern extent of Barangaroo Point Reserve, adjacent to Moores Wharf.
  • Dukes Pier for a pier located within Nawi Cove.
  • Rowntrees Dock for a dock situated within Nawi Cove.

The residents of Millers Point for the most part were unable to respond the the choices between a small selection of names presented online as most residents do not have internet access. Those who do and many of the Friends of Millers Point were expecting to engage with BDA in some dialogue concerning Millers Point history and Barangaroo names.

Although some of these names refer to names once associated with the area, all the names are for activities and people long gone from the area. To use only names that have not been associated with an area for more than 100 years could celebrate long-lost history and people, but the names should also include recent people and activities associated with Millers Point and 20th-century maritime activities in the area.

The most prominent 20th-century names that have become attached to Millers Point and its environs are not names of Millers Point people. They are names selected from the people who reshaped Millers Point. Consequently, 100 years ago, new places were named Hickson Road, Walsh Bay and the Bradfield Highway.

The Barangaroo website records that there has been extensive consultation with the community regarding naming within Barangaroo, and other ways it will integrate with the community, history and people within the Barangaroo development. The Millers Point community has felt excluded from many of these engagements, and when it has been included, it has felt the structure of the engagements has not allowed dialogue to take place between the BDA and the community. Last week, the first meeting to discuss these matters occurred between the BDA and the Friends of Millers Point, with representatives of the Millers Point Resident Action Group and the Millers Point Public Housing Tenants Group also attending. It appears there will be dialogue between the BDA and the community, but during this caretaker period for the State Government, the community understood that no substantial discussions on any matter could take place until after the elections. It was noted at the meeting that many Millers Point residents and community representatives requested invitations to this meeting with the BDA.

There appears a positive mood for dialogue between the BDA and the community with regard to discussing Barangaroo names and other connections between Barangaroo and Millers Point. This opportunity for dialogue was not available at the time these names were submitted.

The Friends of Millers Point and the community are strongly of the opinion that they should engage with the BDA in some of this forecast dialogue before Barangaroo names are chosen and put forward.

7 Responses to Proposed Barangaroo names

  1. Leeanne 9 March 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Changing the name from Millers Point is Offensive. Even though you’ve tried to change the culture by getting rid of the people who were born there and the people that made the area into a functioning community.
    Barangaroo is a name which doesn’t sound respectable and only represents a very small minority.
    Since your building a New area you should give a new, strong and respectable name.
    Maybe name it after a Person of strong character, who has done amazing things for people in the Sydney Community. Someone who we can admire, respect and look up to. Maybe a local hero, a teacher, a community leader (not politician). A person that inspires others to want to be better.
    I grew up in Millers Point and chose to leave to raise my family in Suburbia but I love returning to where I grew up, where my mother grew up and where my grandparents were a part of a wonderful community. It’s soo sad to see it all changing.

    • JohnD 10 March 2015 at 9:16 am #

      Many people who identify with the Millers Point community have said they feel offended by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority’s attempts to undermine the name Millers Point. This is a mistake that can still be reversed. Let’s hope it is.

  2. TonyHughes 9 March 2015 at 11:21 pm #

    The European history of the area has always been referred/related to as Millers point .This lip service to Barangaroo is pathetic. Give the indigenous people of this country a treaty. Don’t bullshit with faux nods of the head to INSENSITIVE name change .The history of the area has always been about the Millers as in a place of wind mills.Apart from cleansing the area of the people that make up the fabric, the tapestry that is the history of Millers point.Now you want to expunge the name as well.Pathetic.Whom ever is suggesting this .They should be ashamed of them selves.

    I tried to submit this on government web site and I wasn’t allowed.I think it was because I ticked the disagree box .I think you will find anyone that ticks disagree with the name change .Will be auto blocked t the web site……

  3. JohnD 10 March 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Tony, sorry your comment is in grey and difficult to read on screen. I have not yet worked out how to run a light box behind comments after the first comment to a news item. If others want to read your comment, they could scroll across it so there is more contrast, or see below.

    a copy of Tony Hughes’ comment…

    The European history of the area has always been referred/related to as Millers point .This lip service to Barangaroo is pathetic. Give the indigenous people of this country a treaty. Don’t bullshit with faux nods of the head to INSENSITIVE name change .The history of the area has always been about the Millers as in a place of wind mills.Apart from cleansing the area of the people that make up the fabric, the tapestry that is the history of Millers point.Now you want to expunge the name as well.Pathetic.Whom ever is suggesting this .They should be ashamed of them selves.

    I tried to submit this on government web site and I wasn’t allowed.I think it was because I ticked the disagree box .I think you will find anyone that ticks disagree with the name change .Will be auto blocked t the web site……

  4. Edna Solomon 12 March 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    I would like to object to the naming of the new cove “Barangaroo Point”. This cove is now and always will be Millers Point. It is the place where the colony began and where the miller put a windmill and where people have lived since the colony began.

    There are people here who have lived here for generations, and until the Housing Commission began to evict them. The whole area was a lovely friendly place to live, where people looked after each other and where there was a village.

    My husband and I moved into the area 16 years ago into “The Geogia”, and since then we have enjoyed every minute of our stay here. We miss the older people that were delightful and so helpful and friendly

    They did not live in Barangaroo, they lived and still live in Millers Point.

    Therefore I strongly object to the naming of the new area “Barangaroo Point”.

    Edna Solomon.

  5. JohnD 15 March 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Edna’s post…
    I would like to object to the naming of the new cove “Barangaroo Point”. This cove is now and always will be Millers Point. It is the place where the colony began and where the miller put a windmill and where people have lived since the colony began.

    There are people here who have lived here for generations, and until the Housing Commission began to evict them. The whole area was a lovely friendly place to live, where people looked after each other and where there was a village.

    My husband and I moved into the area 16 years ago into “The Geogia”, and since then we have enjoyed every minute of our stay here. We miss the older people that were delightful and so helpful and friendly

    They did not live in Barangaroo, they lived and still live in Millers Point.

    Therefore I strongly object to the naming of the new area “Barangaroo Point”.

    Edna Solomon.

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