The Lane Cove residential was built at 155 Longueville Rd in 1979 on the site of a Chapel originally created in 1878. It was run as a Congregational Church. At the time of construction, the Presbyterian and Methodist churches were amalgamating with the Congregational Church to form the Uniting Church.
In the Congregational Church were a number of people who had spent time studying the Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi language so when a name for the residential was required the use of Kamilaroi was selected by the Church congregation to show their respect for the Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi people they had encounted in that study. Wikipedia lists 38 alternatives to Gamilaraay of which Kamilaroi is one.
As Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi people live in Sydney as well as their homeland the original naming would have included the hope that aged care was available to them when required. As many thousand people have moved through the facility in the 40 years since opening it would have been that a number of Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi people could have been included. In keeping with multicultural Australia there are at present residents from many places including Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Korea, China, Japan, Scotland, Canada, USA and Australia. There is also a couple of native Fijians. The staff come from many countries.
Uniting Lane Cove has special days to promote interest in various causes, Irish and Italian days, Chinese new year, Valentines Day, and others. There was a day being arranged last February to have a Kamilaroi Day, but the COVIT interrupted and put it on hold as the Home become locked up. It was hoped to have a notable Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi person as well as a didgeridoo player. The person we had in mind was Ray Martin. Some Lane Cove people may have been invited depending on room.
HOWEVER- It seems that a person of Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi decent recently came to live in Lane Cove and noticed that “Kamilaroi” was used by the Uniting Church at 155 Longueville Rd, and took offence. With the help of others made aggressive phone calls to the Uniting office, who, acted as the Congregational Church had done 40 years ago respectfully naming the Retirement Home at 155 Longueville Rd, Kamilaroi – again showed respect and withdrew the name.
Some residents who have been here for many years have indicated that it will always be Kamilaroi for them. The Gamilaraay-Kamilaroi descendants in Sydney who have a requirement for a nursing home can still apply for nursing home accommodation with Uniting who have a number of homes in Sydney, but they wont have a home named in their honour to live in.
Those at Uniting Lane Cove are very sorry to advise you this news.