Consultation has closed

Thank you to everyone who participated in this stage of the consultation.

During February to June 2021, Council undertook the process to name the Multi Sports Stadium at John Cain Memorial Park in Thornbury, which is currently being constructed. The naming process was successful, and the stadium is now known as Narrandjeri Stadium (Stadium).

As part of the development of the new stadium, Council is looking to name the Show Court located within the Stadium.

The feedback process for the potential name for the show court has now closed.

What’s happened so far

Council consulted with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (Wurundjeri Council) in October 2020. They provided names to be considered for the new stadium and provided the names of two female athletes for consideration for the naming of the Show Court within the Stadium. These names were:

  • Patricia Ockwell; and
  • Marcia Ella – Duncan

After review of the proposed names in accordance with the Naming Rules for places in Victoria: statutory requirements for naming roads, features and localities – 2016 (Naming Rules), more specifically the Principles, it was determined that only one name was an acceptable option. That name was Patricia Ockwell.

Darebin City Council proposed to use the name Patricia Ockwell for the Show Court, to better recognise and reflect the Wurundjeri history of the local area and promote female participation in sport.

The statutory process that included a survey closed on 21 March 2022 with a total of 103 submissions via the online survey. The majority of respondents voted for Patricia Ockwell Court. In addition to the survey, supplementary feedback was received from a number of submissions, that out of respect for Patricia Ockwell, Aunty should be placed in front of her name.

On Tuesday 27 April, Council unanimously voted and endorsed the name Aunty Patricia Ockwell Court for the show court at Narrandjeri Stadium. An official application will now be lodged with Geographic Naming Victoria.

Who is Patricia Ockwell?

Aunty Patricia (Pat) Ockwell is a respected Elder and proud Wurundjeri woman who has served her community through her work in hostels, housing and justice. Patricia Wilma Nicholson was born on 17 September 1937 in Carlton, Victoria.

In her teen years, Aunty Pat was an avid runner and was approached to train and attend the 1956 Olympics. Due to her family circumstances at the time, she was unable to attend.

Aunty Pat went on to have a large involvement in the community and activism. In 1977, Pat joined the Dandenong and District Aborigines Co-operative and has served on its board at various times. The Co-operative was set up to assist and support Aboriginal people in health, housing, employment, education and general welfare.

In the 1970s Pat also began working at Aboriginal hostels. Her first role was at the Roy Harrison (Gunai) Hostel in Dandenong. The hostels were largely set up to house and assist young Aboriginal people from country areas coming to the city for training and tertiary education. Some of her other workplaces included the William T Onus Hostel in Northcote, the Harry Nanya Hostel in Mildura and the Lionel Rose Centre in Morwell.

While working at the Morwell Hostel, Pat established a good relationship with local police and set up a system when it came to Aboriginal people getting in trouble with the police. Offenders would be released into Pat’s care at the hostel until they needed to appear in court. This system allowed young offenders the opportunity to stay out of prison and help them reform their lives back on track. For those who had served their time and were due for release, Pat also established an arrangement for them to stay at the William T Onus Hostel in Northcote for the final 28 days of their sentence. There she helped them get jobs and assist them in their transition back to community life.

Aunty Pat then became a sitting member of the Koori Court system when it was established in the 1980s. Pat currently attends Broadmeadows Koori Court, the Magistrates' Koori Court and Children’s Koori Court in Melbourne and the Children's Koori Court at Dandenong.

For over 30 years Pat has also played a major role with the Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria, (now Aboriginal Housing Victoria) serving on its board and various committees and assisting with policy matters. Pat is also currently the Vice Chair of the Aboriginal Community Elders Services (ACES), an organisation committed to maintaining services for elderly members of the community. It is important to Pat that the sick and elderly are warm and happy and well cared for. Pat is a Senior Elder and Life Member of the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council.

For more information on the construction and opening of Narrandjeri Stadium please see the Narrandjeri Stadium Project Page

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