2 February 2018

Indigenous elders unite to name new ANU precinct 'Kambri'

| Lachlan Roberts
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Kambri plaque gifted to the ANU from the traditional owners of the Canberra region. Photo: Supplied by the Australian National University.

Elders from the ACT’s four Indigenous communities have gifted the Australian National University the name “Kambri” for its new precinct that is set to replace the old Union Court.

Representatives from the Little Gudgenby River Tribal Council, Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation, King Brown Tribal Group, and the Ngarigu Currawong Clan participated in the gift.

The name was presented to ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt during a special ceremony at the annual State of the University address, in which he launched the ANU Reconciliation Action Plan.

The plan aims to increase the number of Indigenous students and staff at ANU and ensure the University is at the centre of Indigenous research.

“This is not a timid document,” Professor Schmidt said. “I want to see ANU become the destination of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander intellectual leaders to undertake research and to contribute to policymaking.”

Ngunnawal Elder Wally Bell said the naming of the new precinct was significant and it was important to allow people to learn about Aboriginal culture.

“It’s quite significant that the usage of the name Kambri is being given a bit more prominence, especially at the ANU. It’s a place for learning and we need people to learn about our culture,” he said.

Ngunnawal Elder Tina Brown said Kambri celebrated the rich culture of the Indigenous people of the region.

“The ANU is a place of learning. So to bring these pathways of learning within a campus is extremely powerful,” she said.

Professor Schmidt said the gift reflected the University’s commitment to being a place that honours Australia’s Indigenous heritage.

“For thousands of years, Aboriginal people came together, shared stories and learnt at the places we now call ANU and Sullivans Creek,” he said.

“Kambri will be a meeting place like no other in the world, providing a space for Indigenous culture to live within the social fabric of the ANU and the greater Canberra community.”

“It will be a place for local Aboriginal people to share family stories along the rejuvenated Sullivans Creek and grow local bush food.”

What do you think of the name Kambri for the new meeting place on ANU campus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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