Cairns community to have say on creek name change

Published Monday, 11 July, 2022 at 12:30 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Cairns residents can have their say on a proposal to rename Blackfellows Creek to its traditional Yidiny name to better represent the region’s Indigenous culture.

A spokesman for the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Elder Corporation said the creek had been known by its traditional name, Bana Gindarja, for thousands of years.

“What we are proposing is to return the creek’s original name. It has always been known as Bana Gindarja to us,” he said.

“Bana Gindarja refers to the cassowary, which is our totem. The story of Bana Gindarja tells how the cassowary lost its feathers, wings, ability to fly and how it became the colour it is.”

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the proposed change, requested by the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people, was a more appropriate name for the culturally significant landmark.

“We’ve listened to the concerns of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people who requested the change with the support of local State MP Curtis Pitt and the Cairns Regional Council,” Mr Stewart said.

“The new proposed name gives us a chance to use language that celebrates our First Nations people and the deep connection they hold to country – a connection that has existed for more than 60,000 years.

“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to work with First Nations peoples to formally rename insensitive sites.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said changing the creek’s name would be a sign of respect to Cairns’ First Nations peoples.

“This government is committed to genuine and respectful partnerships with our First Nations peoples, and that includes ensuring our place names reflect our values,” Mr Pitt said.

“I would personally like to thank the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people for their efforts in the name change process so far.

“I wrote to Minister Scott Stewart to encourage formal consultation with Traditional Owners as custodians of the land and their continued connection to environment and culture.

“As a former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, I acknowledge that a more culturally respectful name for the watercourse would be a significant step towards aspirations of reconciliation.

“As with all place name changes we will engage with the community and I encourage all interested people and groups in Cairns to have their say.”

The name Blackfellows Creek first appeared on maps from about 1883. The creek covers the watercourse as it journeys from Wright’s Creek, south of Cairns and west to Edmonton and Bentley Park.

The consultation period will run from 8 July 2022 to 9 September 2022. 

For more information on the proposal and to submit a comment please visit


Media contact: Ruby Wallace 0415 476 743