Aboriginal significance to be recognised in park name

Community feedback on park names was praised during the June Council meeting after a community member suggested recognising the Aboriginal significance of one park in particular.

The resident picked up there was a park near him that was being redeveloped in a different way to other parks because it was on cultural significant land.

When he saw all the suggested name titles, he thought it was a missed opportunity that the park in question - Joseph Stockdale Park in Parnaby Street, Wodonga - did not have the recognition of the Aboriginal significance.

It's such a good example of going out to the community because we don't know everything.

The place naming committee completely agreed to all of the feedback we received and we have gone back to the drawing board on that particular park.

Cr Kat Bennett

Cr Bennett said council had been working with the city's Aboriginal community and have a couple of suggestions which would be put into notion.


Ten park names which have been adopted include:

  • Jack Dunstan Park - Jacka St, Wodonga

  • Henrika Kuljurgies Reserve - Charlton Rd, Killara
  • Ernie May Park - Corner of Samantha Terrace and Lightwood Drive, Wodonga

  • Kosovar Park – Bandicoot Lane, Bandiana

  • Bidgood Park - Between Basil Court and Comfrey Court, Baranduda

  • Ida Schubert Park - Corner of Jamison Drive and Barton Drive, Baranduda

  • Mel Read Park – Simon Lane, Baranduda

  • Baranduda Fields – 160 Kiewa Valley Highway, Baranduda

  • Brian Callanan Park – Elmwood Circuit, Wodonga

  • Wilhelm Koschel Reserve - Off Beechworth-Wodonga Road, Wodonga

As part of the naming process a parks sign with the name of the park, as well as a short summary about the person or reason behind the name, is placed on site.


Park name: Jack Dunstan Park Location: Jacka Street, Wodonga

Jack Dunstan contributed greatly to Wodonga’s growth and development. From 1936, he grew Dunstan’s Timber to become one of the largest employers in the region, employing more than 180 people when sold in 1988. His broad community work included 50 years active membership of Rotary, 21 years on Wodonga Hospital Board and building up Wodonga Bowling Club.

Park name: Henrika Kuljurgies Reserve Location: Charlton Rd, Killara

After arriving in Australia in 1948, Henrika Kuljurgies stayed at the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre where she met her husband Alfred. Henrika had created many well-known paintings in her Killara studio, all of which featured a magpie. They could be found throughout the community, including in hospitals and the Commercial Club Albury.

Park name: Ernie May Park Location: Corner of Samantha Terrace and Lighthood Drive, Wodonga

Ernie May was a printer at the Wodonga and Towong Sentinel newspaper for 25 years. For most of that time, he was also a Wodonga bandmaster and served as president of the Border and Northeast Band Association, secretary of the Wodonga Public Library and secretary of Wodonga Rifle Club.

Park name: Kosovar Park Location: Bandicoot Lane, Bandiana

In 1999, Bandiana became one of eight army barracks in Australia to host 4000 Kosovar refugees. Many refugee families remained at the local safe haven until April, 2000. The Albury Wodonga Multicultural Resource Centre, local schools and the Albury Wodonga Community College played a pivotal role in looking after the refugees.

Park name: Bidgood Park Location: Between Basil Court and Comfrey Court, Baranduda

John Bidgood was a native of Devonshire England, who arrived in Melbourne in 1870. The Bidgood family bought 213 acres in Staghorn Flat and conducted general farming and grazing. They also had some land under crop and vineyard. The descents of the Bidgood family continued farming at staghorn Flat and Wodonga West for 142 years until 2012.

Park name: Ida Schubert Park Location: Corner of Jamison Drive and Barton Drive, Baranduda

Ida Schubert lived in the house she was born, in Yackandandah Rd, Baranduda all of her 101 years without electricity. She was one of six children to Baranduda pioneers, Otto and Mary Schubert. Ida and her sister Ethel were operators of the Baranduda telephone exchange and post office. She is remembered as independent, adventurous and fun.

Park name: Mel Read Park Location: Simon Lane, Baranduda

As the Deputy Chairman of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation, Mel Read was one of the region’s most influential figures. In 1994, he retired from the corporation and was appointed the Wodonga City Council Chief Commissioner as part of the Kennett Government’s restructure of local government from 1994 to 1997.

Park name: Baranduda Fields Location: 160 Kiewa Valley Highway, Baranduda

The site has been referred as ‘Baranduda Fields’ since the sports precinct project initiated.

Park name: Brian Callanan Park Location: Elmwood Circuit, Wodonga

Brian “Nipper” Callanan moved to Wodonga in 1986 after he semi-retired from the Livestock Industry. He was a passionate member of Wodonga Football and the Wodonga and District Turf Club. Brian and his wife Mary became the first owner/occupier of The Elmwood Development, a perfect place between the Football Ground and his Church.

Park name: Wilhelm Koschel Reserve Location: Off Beechworth-Wodonga Road, Wodonga

Wilhelm Koschel arrived in Wodonga in 1878 from Prussia and settled with his widowed mother and siblings. They bought a farm on the Beechworth-Wodonga Rd in 1880, was a successful winegrower before turning to dairying in the 1920s. The property was sold in 1951. Wilhelm and wife Amanda Olson reared 11 children, many descendants remain in the area.