Community votes to name South Village park after Dharawal woman Bi-yarrung 'Biddy' Giles

The community has voted overwhelmingly for the park at South Village, Kirrawee to be named after Dharawal woman Bi-yarrung "Biddy" Giles.

Sutherland Shire Council endorsed the decision at its meeting on Monday night, but approval is still needed from the Geographical Names Board and La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

In the second stage of a competition run by the council, three names were shortlisted - the others being Kiln Park and Brick Pit Park, commemorating the previous use of the site.

Of the 2199 votes received from registered park users, 81 per cent supported the name Biddy Giles Park.

A council report said Giles had extensive knowledge of country extending from the south side of the Georges River to Wollongong.

"Estimated to be born in 1820, she travelled across Dharawal Country throughout her life," the report said.

"By around 1860, Biddy was living at the mouth of Mill Creek, on the southern side of the Georges River, with her English husband Billy Giles.

"From about that time, Biddy and her husband were regular visitors to Port Hacking and served as guides for groups of travellers on shooting and fishing excursions.

"Some of those travellers wrote accounts of their trips with Biddy in which they marvelled at her knowledge of the land, resourceful use of bush tucker, and masterful control over her hunting dogs."

Support for the park name was also received from her descendants, including a great grandson x5, who is a pupil at Bonnet Bay Public School.

"I am a proud Dharawal and Bundjalung boy", he wrote before giving reasons for why the name should be chosen.

He concluded: "There [aren't] many places in the Sutherland Shire named after strong notable Aboriginal people. It would be great if the park was to be named after my great grandmother 5x as her story will live on and our culture stays strong."

The South Village residential and shopping precinct was completed in 2019.

As part of developer contributions, the 9000 square metre regional community park was constructed under a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) between the council and the developer.

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