Fraser Island Changes Name to K’gari Following Indigenous-Led Campaign

Following years of campaigning from the Aboriginal Butchulla people, Fraser Island is to be officially renamed K’gari – the original place name for the Australian island that means ‘paradise’.

The traditional owners of K’gari, the Butchulla people, have long asked for the repatriation of K’gari’s name.

Pronounced ‘Gurri’, the traditional Butchulla name is derived from a Dreamtime story and has been used by the Butchulla people who have lived on the island for at least 5,000 years.

“The name Fraser Island is a tribute to Eliza Fraser—a woman whose narrative directly lead to the massacre and dispossession of the Butchulla people,” Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson Jade Gould said.

A word meaning paradise in Butchulla language is a much more fitting name for such an iconic place.

Located off the southeast coast of Queensland, K’gari sits within the World Heritage Area of Great Sandy National Park and has solidified itself as a top holiday destination in Australia.

The name change was formally adopted at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee and was celebrated in a ceremony with Butchulla representatives and elders on Sunday.

The island’s name change builds on the renaming of its national park to K’gari back in 2017 and consolidates what residents of the island describe as a necessary change.

With the support of the Butchulla people, we have been calling the island K’gari for some time now.

Kingfisher Bay Resort Group General Manager David Hay said.

K’gari is the world’s largest sand island and boasts crystal clear freshwater lakes and creeks and is now a name that honors the island’s traditional owners, culture, and history.

Fraser Island is set to be renamed K’gari after the state government got behind a long-running campaign led by the traditional owners of the land. Credit: Supplied

This article originally appeared on Fancy

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Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

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