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Featured News JCU’s Thursday Island campus Indigenous name unveiled

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Wed, 15 Sep 2021

JCU’s Thursday Island campus Indigenous name unveiled

JCU Vice Chancellor and President Professor Sandra Harding AO, Betty Te Kahika Mabo, Salia Savage (Kaurareg Elder) and Chancellor Mr Bill Tweddell at the unveiling of JCU Thursday Island's indigenous name.
Ngulaigau Mudh means “house of knowledge” in the dialect of the Kala Lagaw Ya, a traditional language of the Torres Strait. L-R: Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Sandra Harding AO, Betty Te Kahika Mabo, Salia Savage and Chancellor Mr Bill Tweddell.

James Cook University’s Thursday Island campus has been gifted a local Indigenous name to acknowledge the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the advancement of the University.

The Kaurareg Traditional Owners have given the Thursday Island campus the name Ngulaigau Mudh (pronounced ngoo-lai-gow mud), which means “house of knowledge” in the dialect of the Kala Lagaw Ya, a traditional language of the Torres Strait.

Indigenous language names were announced last year for JCU’s Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa campuses, with a naming ceremony also planned for the University’s Mackay campus.

Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the naming ceremonies acknowledge and celebrate JCU’s campuses, reflecting the shared sense of connection to place.

“We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and the significance of our place in northern Queensland and the Tropics more broadly - the knowledge shared and co-created and the impact on the region and nation, as part of JCU’s enduring legacy after more than half a century in northern Queensland.

“The naming of each campus stands as tribute to JCU’s history and our deep respect to the traditional custodians of our campuses and their connection to Country. It reflects our shared history and purpose and gives further effect to the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan and Strategy,” Professor Harding said.

The Pro Vice Chancellor of Indigenous Education and Strategy Professor Martin Nakata said JCU values the important contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to our community, and is welcoming of Indigenous Australians from across the country.

“We are very proud of the achievements of JCU's Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, graduates and staff, and the cultural richness and diversity that brings to our university community,” Professor Nakata said.

The Thursday Island campus includes JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine Clinical Research and Training Facility, and provides research, teaching and learning facilities for JCU students in the Torres Strait region, as well as community engagement.