Dan Andrews Slammed After Promising To Rename Maroondah Hospital After Queen Elizabeth II
"... changing the name of a hospital from an Aboriginal word to the name to the name of a dead colonising monarch is a really bad idea."
Dan Andrews has announced he will rename an Indigenous-named hospital after Queen Elizabeth II if re-elected in the upcoming state election.
The Victorian Premier announced his pledge on Sunday as part of an up-to $1 billion expansion and redevelopment of Maroondah Hospital in the city’s east.
The name ‘Maroondah’ is derived from an Indigenous word for ‘leaf’, according to Maroondah City Council. However, the namesake for the 300+ bed teaching hospital could be uprooted next year, after the November 26 Victorian state election.
“The new Queen Elizabeth II hospital will rebuild and refurbish the Maroondah hospital from the ground up,” said Andrews in a statement on Sunday. “The Queen was a longstanding supporter of Victoria’s healthcare system,” he said. “As the patron of the Royal Melbourne and the Royal Children’s hospitals, she demonstrated her devotion to patients and their care whenever she visited their bedsides.”
Maroondah Hospital is my local hospital and I welcome this plan, as it is run down and looks old. However, I don’t agree with renaming it. Please consult with the local Indigenous community if this already hasn’t been done.
— Wazza from Melbourne (@Melbourne_says) September 18, 2022
Victoria became the first place nationwide to pass legislation for an Indigenous treaty authority — separate from Federal Government — to work towards a state-specific treaty to recognise and protect Indigenous rights in August.
Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe pointed out the incongruity between the two moves.
“This is not what Treaty looks like, Dan,” said the Djab Wurrung, Gunnai, and Gunditjmara woman on Monday. “Maroondah is a Woiwurrung word meaning leaf, which symbolises Maroondah’s green environment. What an insult to now colonise us, again.”
Noongar writer Claire Coleman agreed, saying her support of the Labor Government would be challenged if they were to “change the name of a hospital named [after] an Aboriginal word to the name of the dead colonising monarch”.
“I would like to offer to speak to you in person regarding why changing the name of a hospital from an Aboriginal word to the name to the name of a dead colonising monarch is a really bad idea,” she said.
The project will also see a new emergency department and operating theatres, and an additional 200 beds for in-patients by 2029. Andrews’ pledge came a day after Opposition Leader Matthew Guy promised $400 million towards updates to Maroondah Hospital — minus the name change.