Moreland City Council a step closer to reconciliation with name change

Moreland City Council has endorsed Merri-bek as its preferred new name at a Special Council Meeting on Sunday 3 July.

Council resolved to replace its name at as Special Meeting in December 2021 after research confirmed that the current ‘Moreland’ name has deeply racist associations.

Adopting a Woi-wurrung name is part of Council’s commitment to walking together with the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders, in reconciliation.

“Merri-bek, meaning rocky country, was the clear frontrunner from our community, with 59 per cent of respondents choosing it as their favourite,” Mayor Cr Mark Riley said.

“Many residents shared that they felt most connected to Merri-bek as it linked to the iconic Merri Creek and the rocky country where we live.”

22 per cent of respondents favoured Jerrang, meaning ‘leaf of tree’, while 13 per cent preferred Wa-dum-buk, meaning ‘renew’.

Every resident and business owner was mailed information on the renaming project.

“6,315 people members of the community had their say by submitting a survey, plus we heard from children and Council staff. We believe this is the most engagement we’ve ever had on a Council project,” Cr Riley said.

“It was wonderful to read messages of support for all three beautiful name options put forward by Wurundjeri Elders, as locals told us how they resonated with their homes, country and community.”

The endorsed name recommendation will now be submitted to the Minister for Local Government for consideration, with final approval by Governor in Council.

It is expected that Council will begin changing its corporate name on digital materials and major signage later this year.

Dignitaries from Moreland Council at smoking ceremony

Moreland City Councillors are joined by James Williams (middle left), Uncle Tony Garvey (middle right), Senator Jana Stewart (third from right) Deputy Mayor Cr Lambros Tapinos (second from right), and Moreland City Council CEO Cathy Henderson for a tree planting ceremony to commemorate the occasion.

For more information on this project:

E. Brittany Holdgate,