First Nations nod as ferry terminal renamed

189 Yanonung Quay
189 Yanonung Quay
David Schout

Docklands’ ferry terminal at Victoria Harbour has been renamed “Yanonung Quay” — a Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung word meaning “waterways”.

Previously referred to as “VH08”, the newly named area is a prominent point for locals and tourists when visiting Docklands, and features the Cow Up a Tree sculpture and a newly-opened ferry terminal and community hub.

The name was suggested after the City of Melbourne consulted with Traditional Owners, with Docklands community members putting forward the idea that the area should be referenced as a “quay”.

“We are very, very grateful to the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for supplying this name and it is very fitting that it should reference the ancient place that is the Docklands and Naarm more generally,” Cr Dr Olivia Ball said.

“We welcome having a First Nations name for a new place that is, in fact, an ancient place.”

The City of Melbourne said that recent community feedback across all neighbourhoods identified the need for greater recognition and opportunity to learn about Wurundjeri and Bunurong heritage places, and ongoing cultural connection to Country, including through more understanding and visibility of Woi Wurrung language across the city.

At an August 16 Future Melbourne Committee meeting when the new name was voted in, Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said it was “a really positive” move for a number of reasons.

“As Yanonung Quay we do hope that it’ll become a very busy, bustling commuter and sightseeing ferry terminal,” he said.

“[It] will become something that’s a household word and name in Melbourne and Victoria and indeed across Australia and beyond. We should also point out that the Woi Wurrung language is a language which is considered endangered. One important way we can preserve First Nations languages is by incorporating some traditional language names into our place names.”

Ferry trial extended

The news came as a trial ferry route from Docklands to Portarlington was extended for at least another year by the state government.

In a win for both tourists and commuters, the government will invest a further $1.34 million in the service operated by Port Phillip Ferries.

The government has said that passenger numbers had started to return to pre-pandemic levels, and a 12-month extension (until June 30, 2023) would “enable a better assessment of longer-term options”.

“We want to continue this trial for another 12 months as we come out of the pandemic. We want to analyse the data, and then we’re very keen to see it being an embedded part of our transport network,” Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said.

“Extending the ferry trial will be welcome news to the tens of thousands of visitors and locals who accessing this convenient link whether for work or holidays.”

The ferry service launched in May 2017, and by 2019 had welcomed 110,000 users, including 15,000 passengers (an average of around 500 people per day) in the traditionally popular month of January.

However, COVID-19 lockdowns across Melbourne then saw those numbers drop considerably, and the company has slowly seen the return of passengers since.

Port Phillip Ferries marketing manager Brad Wright told Docklands News last month that the new terminal (at what is now Yanonung Quay) would add “significant value and benefit for residents and visitors to the Docklands precinct”.

“It’s not just a place for ferry passengers, we have worked very hard to build a community hub for residents, businesses, and visitors,” he said.

The ideal Parade starting point?

News filtered through on August 27 that the AFL would host the 2022 Grand Final parade along the Yarra River.

Starting in Southbank, players would travel by boat down the river to Birrarung Marr followed by a motorcade across William Barak Bridge to Yarra Park.

However Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network chair Jackie Watts questioned whether the newly-named ferry terminal would be a better starting point.

“Obviously starting at the new ferry terminal on Harbour Esplanade is ideal,” she said.

“It would attract a lot of folks there — its opposite Marvel Stadium anyway.”

The parade was set to take place at 10:30am on Friday September 23. •


Caption 1: The ferry terminal at Victoria Harbour has been renamed “Yanonung Quay”.

Caption 2: The new purpose-built hub.

Waterways team to the rescue

Waterways team to the rescue

November 29th, 2023 - Docklands News
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