Sunraysia residents are being asked to consider two shortlisted names from the community for north-west Victoria’s newest and biggest sporting venue, currently known as the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct (MSRSP).
Future tenants of the MSRSP and the broader community were earlier this year asked to submit potential names based on the following criteria:
• Names that relate to local Aboriginal culture or language,
• A geographic name or feature of the local area,or
• A deceased person who has strong connections with the community and is held in high esteem.
As part of the submission process suggestions needed to comply with Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) naming rules.
After a thorough assessment process the following names are presented for community feedback:

Marngrook Sporting Precinct

The word Marngrook comes from the Gunditjmara language (located in the south western district of Victoria) and means ‘game ball’.

The name was submitted by the First People of the Millewa Mallee Aboriginal Corporation, as it celebrates the history of Aboriginal football.

Our region boasts an amazing link to this history, with an 1857 sketch by German explorer William Blandowski showcasing the Aboriginal people playing a ball game near Merbein.

This sketch has been reported to be one of the earliest images to capture Australian football and Council has received permission to reproduce this to be displayed in a prominent location in the precinct.

Mildura Sporting Precinct

This name recognises the site’s locality while demonstrating its purpose as a multipurpose recreation and sporting venue.
Mildura Mayor Jason Modica said this was an exciting and important step for the precinct.

“This is one of the biggest and most important venues in our region which will be instrumental in improving the health and wellbeing of our community, and stimulating our economy through major events and the thousands of visitors they will attract,” Cr Modica said.

“Given its prominence, it’s appropriate the name of the precinct reflects our region, our past, and the activities that will take place there.
“The name Marngrook Sporting Precinct does all of this and more. It tells an amazing story the broader community and visitors to our region need to know. A story about our region’s traditional owners, their lands and their connection to one of the biggest sports in our country.
“Mildura Sporting Precinct meanwhile is a very clear and effective identifier for both locals, and importantly people from outside of our region, about our municipality’s newest and most comprehensive sports venue.”

Cr Modica said that as part of the assessment process, it was important to ensure that before any names were presented for the community to consider they had to meet the strict criteria set out by GNV.

“This would ensure that at the end of the public consultation process the preferred name would likely be accepted by GNV, rather than both Council and our community going through this whole process, only to have a preferred name knocked back at the last step,” he said.

Council sought advice from GNV, including for one of the popular proposed names – Mildura South Sporting Precinct – and was advised this would be ineligible as its naming rules would not allow use of directional names such as ‘south’.

The current naming process is for the entire precinct site, which covers the area incorporating 624 to 706 Deakin Avenue.

A separate process will be conducted at a later stage to name the individual components of the precinct, such as the stadium, pavilion and premier sporting oval, providing commercial and sponsorship opportunities.

Submissions will be taken until midday on June 30.

To share your thoughts complete our online form at mildura.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay.

Alternatively, written submissions can be sent to: Don Harley,
 Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct Manager, 
PO Box 105,
 Mildura VIC 3500.

Once feedback has been received and considered the preferred name will be endorsed by Council.

The community will then have a further 30 days to provide feedback before the final name is submitted to Geographic Names Victoria for registration.

For more information and background to the story behind the name Marngrook Sporting Precinct the following local experts are available to speak to:
• Peter Matsumoto, Community Engagement Coordinator, First People of the Millewa Mallee Aboriginal Corporation: 0418 521 290 or peter.matsumoto@fpmmac.com.au
• Thelma Chilly, chairperson Aboriginal Action Committee: 0437 684 763 or thelma.chilly@dpc.vic.gov.au
• Bob Utber, sports historian and author: 0407 513 357 or sportweb@net2000.com.au.