A Melbourne council has voted to change its name to an Indigenous word, cutting ties with an 18th century Jamaican slave estate.
Councillors voted in a special meeting on Sunday to change Moreland City Council in Melbourne's inner north to Merri-bek, meaning "rocky country".
The name was among three put forward by Wurundjeri elders, and supported by 59 per cent of more than 6300 ratepayers who filled out a survey.
Member for Brunswick Tim Read posted on Twitter that the council had voted to become Merri-Bek City Council, seven to three.
The vote represented a momentous day of celebration, reconciliation, and healing for the community, councillor Annalivia Carli Hannan said.
"Merri-bek has clear support from the community, and we hope to start formally implementing the name later this year, once it is approved by the minister for local government."
The number of people who chose Merri-bek was significant and reflected a spread of postcodes and demographics, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation deputy chair Uncle Andrew Gardiner said.
"We thank the people for their responses and we are proud to walk with them with their new council name that reflects the vision of 'one community, proudly diverse', and a council that backs up its statement of commitment with action and respect."
Following the vote, the new name will be submitted to newly appointed Local Government Minister Melissa Horne for consideration, with final approval at the discretion of Victoria's Governor Linda Dessau.
Jerrang, meaning '"leaf of tree", and Wa-dum-buk, meaning "renew", were the other two name options, garnering 22 and 13 per cent of the vote respectively.
The council last year voted to start consultation with traditional owners and the community on changing its name after discovering it came from land between Moonee Ponds Creek to Sydney Road, that Farquhar McCrae acquired in 1839.
He named the area Moreland after a Jamaican slave plantation his father and grandfather operated from 1770 to 1796, which produced sugar and rum, and traded slaves, with 500 to 700 enslaved people there in any one year.
It is expected the council will start changing its name on digital materials and major signage later in 2022.
Australian Associated Press
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