Members of the Hepburn Shire community have campaigned to have the name of Jim Crow Creek at Franklinford changed for a decade.
Now there are renewed calls for change with a petition put together by Daylesford's Michelle Clifford being signed by more than 220 people.
The petition highlights the importance around changing the name given that the name 'Jim Crow' has racist connotations. The term stems from the Jim Crow Laws which enforced racial segregation in the United States.
Ms Clifford said the council needed to implement a place naming policy "in the spirit of reconciliation, language matters and Treaty" immediately.
The policy would include giving Indigenous names to geographical features or places that are not yet named and replacing existing place names that are racially or historically offensive to Indigenous people. The other important initiative, Ms Clifford said, was to place dual signage - with an additional Indigenous name - at places that are already officially named.
The area of Franklinford - or Larrnebarramul, the land of the emu, as it was known to the Dja Dja Wurrung people - is historically significant as a place where genocide occurred upon white settlement and later, where the Loddon Aboriginal Protectorate Station was located.
The protectorate was established to simultaneously protect and to civilise Aboriginal people.
Ms Clifford said the Dja Dja Wurrung and their culture needed to be more widely recognised out of respect for the history of what occurred at the location.
"The traditional custodians of the land deserve recognition. As a sign of respect, the name of the creek should be replaced," she said. "In this day and age we should be educating about the true history of Australia rather than just the European side."
Chief Executive Officer of the Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation, Rodney Carter, said it would not only be valuable to his people to have the creek re-named with a name or a word associated with Dja Dja Wurrung language, but it would also be a positive step forward for the wider community.
It sets the standard for how we can put language back into landscape which is good for identity and reinforces individuality of community.Rodney Carter
"It is also about guardianship, custodianship and setting good examples in leadership."
The Dja Dja Wurrung were officially given back their land - which spans from near Creswick across to Woodend, up to Rochester and across to Donald - from the state government in 2013 after a landmark native title settlement formally recognised them as the traditional owners.
The whole Daylesford area, Mr Carter said, tells a unique story of resilience and survival but also of oppression.
"Even the geology and the idea of volcanic type events taking place when Dja Dja Wurrung people were present in the landscape. They talk about the argument between Lulgambook (Mt Franklin) and Tarrengower in their own stories which was really them seeing geological events taking place and crafting an appropriate narrative around it to be used as an education tool," he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Hepburn Shire Council, Evan King, said the council had a project scheduled within the financial year to undertake research and conduct community consultation, including with the Dja Dja Wurrung, regarding the name of the creek.
Last year the council passed its Reconciliation Action Plan and members of the community were chosen to form a committee to oversee its implementation.
The creek - part of the Goulburn Murray Water Catchment Authority- is approximately 22-kilometres long and also flows through Mount Alexander Shire.
In order to change its name, a formal process would need to be undertaken whereby consultation is conducted with relevant authorities and communities through the formation of a Geographical Place Names Advisory Committee.
Mr King said there would be an opportunity for community members to be involved in that process.
He said there was also a commitment listed in the council's Reconciliation Action Plan to further Traditional Owner acknowledgement across the shire.
This commitment includes signage, he said, but there would need to be collaboration between the council and the Dja Dja Wurrung to identify potential sites and locations for dual signage.
But some sites may be managed by the state government and other authorities, who Mr King said the council would engage with throughout the process.
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