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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Jasper Lindell

Ngunnawal community gifts name for Acton waterfront park

The park on land reclaimed from Lake Burley Griffin at Acton will be named Ngamawari, a Ngunnawal word that means "cave place".

The name was presented to the ACT government at a ceremony at the site of the park on Thursday morning, and acknowledges the significance to traditional custodians of limestone caves that were flooded when Lake Burley Griffin was constructed.

Ngunnawal elder Caroline Hughes said Ngamawari celebrated and educated everyone about Ngunnawal country, history and language.

"Ngamawari reflects the truth telling story of this place - a place of significance to Ngunnawal people," Dr Hughes said.

"There is so much Ngunnawal history in this place that has not been told such as the limestone caves that have been hidden by Lake Burley Griffin at a time when Ngunnawal were excluded from the conversation and development of Canberra."

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the government had been working with the Ngunnawal community for more than two years on the desk of the park and said it was a privilege to accept the name in the Ngunnawal language.

An artist's impression of a future waterfront park at Acton, which will be known as Ngamawari. Picture supplied

"Future generations will now be able to celebrate Ngunnawal culture and history when they visit the Ngamawari public park and its adventure playground, cafes, native gardens and events lawns," Mr Barr said.

The National Capital Authority granted works approval for the waterfront park last week.

A temporary park will open in 2025-26, the government said, with a permanent park to follow in 2028. The government is expected to put the temporary park early works to public tender next year.

Federal Territories Minister Kristy McBain said works approval meant the park was one step closer, and she thanked the Ngunnawal community for gifting the name.

"With an adventure playground, cafes, native plant gardens and outdoor event spaces, Ngamawari will bring the Griffin vision to life - connecting this part of the lake to the city centre, and allowing more people to connect with the rich cultural heritage Canberra has to offer," Ms McBain said.

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