A street by any other name …


Alice Springs Town Council last night approved new street names proposed for the Mt John subdivision, two of them being Arrernte words honouring past traditional owners of the area.
The phonetic pronunciation of these words will be part of the signage and this practice will be adopted for all future street name signage.
The names are Werlatye Court (pronounced Wool-at-ya) and Irrampenye Court (pronounced Irrr-ram-pen-ya).
‘Werlatye’ means ‘woman’ in Arrernte, according to the council papers. Likewise ‘Irrampenye’ means man.
The names go back as far as the oral history records and refer to the ancestors of the present day senior custodians and traditional owners, according to the papers.
The Mt John subdivision is being developed by a commercial entity associated with the native title holders’ corporation, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation.
The third street name is ‘MacConochie’, an extension  of an existing street by the same name.


  1. MacConochie, pronouned Mar-kono-key……not Ma-kono -chee…. Ah, don’t you love the English language.

  2. I wonder how Mt Johns’ “Woman’s court” and “Man’s court” will be pronounced by the f-i-f-o new residents!

  3. I think the council really needs to look a bit closer at the meanings of these names, as I’m aware that quite a few Arrernte people find them offensive and inappropriate as street names. Perhaps council should talk to the Apmereke-artweye or Kwetungurle – the people with the traditional rights to speak for Mparntwe. Damien Ryan knows who they are.

  4. For God’s sake, people of Alice Springs … WAKE UP. If you need Arrernte names for streets, contact the appropriate people like Aunty Veronica Dobson Hayes or MK Turner … Buy the Arrernte picture dictionary for $30 at the Red Kangaroo Bookstore in the mall.
    How about Irritye (Wedgetailed Eagle) court or the Angepe (Crow) court. For goodness sake, WHY do you mob gotta make things so complicated for yourselves?


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