The name of the municipality formerly known as Moreland has been changed to Merri-bek – a Wurundjeri word meaning “rocky place’.
This process started late last year when Council resolved to change the name. Moreland was named in 1994 when the municipality was created by the merger of the former Cities of Coburg and Brunswick. Later part of the former City of Broadmeadows was added. The name was chosen as Moreland Road was the boundary between Brunswick and Coburg. It had been named after the estate of Farquhar Macrae who had named it after his family’s sugar plantation in Jamaica. Slaves had been used on the Jamaican estate and Council decided that this indirect link with an abhorrent practice was no longer acceptable. It was also regarded as important to acknowledge the original owners of the land who had been displaced by Macrae and other white settlers. The Wurundjeri-Woirung Corporation was asked to suggest three alternative names. These were put out to public consultation and Merri-bek was chosen by a majority of respondents.
The new name was approved by the Minister for Local Government and the Governor and took effect from 26 September 2022.