7 AUGUST 2013
'kunanyi' has been officially gazetted and is now recognised as the indigenous name for Mount Wellington.
MWCC has welcomed the dual-naming policy as a step towards broader recognition of the First Tasmanians. We hope one day this could possibly go further in the same way that 'Uluru' has completely replaced what was known as 'Ayers Rock'.
Throughout its history, the mountain has in fact had many names. During early colonisation the mountain changed 'European' names several times, from Skiddaw, Montagne du Plateau, to Table Hill. It was known for a several decades as Table Mountain after its twin cousin overlooking Cape Town, South Africa. Eventually someone thought naming it after an English Duke was a good idea and Mount Wellington stuck.
Indigenous cultures also gave the mountain multiple names. It appears Unghbanyahletta and Poorawetter were the more commonly used names prior to English colonisation among the South East Nation, but a clever and recent project to reconstruct a singular language for all Aboriginal Tasmanians - palawa kani - gave birth to the name kunanyi, meaning 'mountain'.
MWCC embrace the name 'kunanyi' due to the cultural healing it represents.
Our proposal includes a Pinnacle Centre which will encompass an interpretation experience. Tours will take all visitors to the mountain on a journey of discovery through its fascinating and largely untold geological formation, aboriginal heritage and colonial adaption.
We have begun collaborative work with various indigenous stakeholder groups to ensure this unique heritage is both properly interpreted for broader appreciation, and greater respect for the mountain's long significance to all humans.