SA5 has been gifted the name ‘Wamburun’, after the Ngunawal word for Black Cockatoo. The building, which is located on the corner of Clunies Ross Street and Dickson Road, currently houses Bruce residents.
Pronounced “WOOM-brun”, the name was gifted to the hall by the Ngunawal people, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region. According to Elder Wally Bell, the Black Cockatoo is a symbol of prosperity abundance, as their presence indicates “an abundance of seed”. The bird is also a symbol of good luck, a feature that Bell hopes will inspire its residents. He says it will let “everybody know [who] comes here, that there’s a chance of the future ahead for them as well.”
Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt has called the naming a “small, but hopefully… enduring step on the path to reconciliation”. He hopes that the hall’s future residents will “reflect on the history and the traditions of the land”. Kambri, the Union Court redevelopment, also carries a name gifted to the ANU by the Indigenous community, meaning “meeting place”. At a recent “Pizza with Brian” event, Schmidt informed students that part of ANU’s “strategic plan is to have indigenous representation equal to their representation in Australia’s population”.
ANUSA Indigenous Officer Braedyn Edwards praised the ANU’s efforts to “engage meaningfully with local mob and their culture”. He says that the name is “not an insignificant gift”, and praised the “generosity” of local Elders and their families. He said the Indigenous Department hopes that the naming will mean that local elders will be invited to contribute to the hall and its culture on an ongoing basis.
Wamburun will officially house its own first residents in 2019, after Bruce moves to its new permanent location. Residential rooms will start at $288.10, and will house 500 students. ANU will have eight undergraduate on-campus residences going into 2019.
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