For many Dharug people, attaching the Macquarie name to the city's northern university in North Ryde sends a deeply hurtful message. The university's motto celebrates teaching and learning and the institution is celebrated for its commitment to generous service and courageous engagement. Yet Lachlan Macquarie's education legacy includes the continents first frontier wars, brutal military actions against Dharug, Darkinjung and Gundagarra peoples and forced institutionalisation of children in the Native Institution at Parramatta (and subsequently at the BNI).
The recent decision by the university rename its campus as Wallumattagal Campus is a welcome shift towards coming to terms with that ambiguous legacy and its meaning for Dharug communities. A recent announcement celebrated the creation of the 'Bundyari Ngurra Walking Track' on the campus that offers a tour of the campus in ways that reminds people they are 'walking on beautiful Dharug Country'.
See the story on the university's webpage here