THE top boss of Wagga City Council has vowed to review the true meaning of Wagga after a councillor aired his concerns about a recent translation change.
Despite supporting the city's Reconciliation Action Plan about two weeks ago, Cr Kerry Pascoe used Monday night's council meeting to state his worry about changing the long-standing meaning of the word 'Wagga', without understanding how the translation was lost.
For many decades the meaning of Wagga Wagga has been defined as the place of many crows, but the city was rocked last month after hearing there had been a mistake in translation.
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Wiradjuri elder Uncle Stan Grant came forward to set the record straight, indicating Wagga meant dance in Wiradjuri language and Wagga Wagga meant a place of many dances and celebrations.
However, Cr Pascoe has cast doubt on the recently-discovered meaning after finding an "extremely important" document dating back 189 years, which he said told a different story.
The document that Cr Pascoe referred to during the council meeting on Monday was handwritten by local surveyor J.J Baylis, who recorded words in the Wiradjuri language.
"I have the document here and it has the meaning of not all of the words, but a lot of the words ... I selected just two words, which were spoken about in the last council meeting. Borambola means dance and Wagga or Waagan is a crow," Cr Pascoe said.
He wants the council to research the newly-discovered translation of place of many dances and celebrations, following the decision to recognise the phrase in the Reconciliation Action Plan.
"I think [J.J Baylis' document] is extremely important. I want to know how we got to the other way," he said.
The Daily Advertiser understands the city's meaning has not been formally altered despite the new translation being revealed during the action plan process.
The council's general manager, Peter Thompson, said the information Cr Pascoe presented on Monday night had suggested conflicting translations.
"One of the [First Nations] groups during the Reconciliation Action Plan consultation showed a clear direction with the meaning being place of many dances and celebrations," he said.
Mr Thompson said the council would review Cr Pascoe's concerns and respond at a later date.
Wiradjuri elder Uncle Stan Grant was contacted for comment. He previously told the Advertiser that he had been fighting this battle since he was six years old and understood that correcting a decades-old error will be difficult.
"There will be people who challenge it ... it's important to tread carefully and gently," Uncle Grant said as he addressed the council last month. "I know it won't happen overnight."