The Royal Australian Navy's newest ship, NUSHIP Supply, has officially announced 'Bundian Way' as the name of the ship's main passageway.
A sign was unveiled on board the ship, which has the Port of Eden as its ceremonial homeport, on Wednesday, March 24.
Every Royal Australian Navy ship has a main passageway connected to their ceremonial homeport. Naming NUSHIP Supply's passage way Bundian Way creates a significant connection to the Bega Valley Shire and the local Aboriginal community.
Bundian Way is an ancient pathway that was used by Aboriginal people from South East NSW, the Monaro plains and surrounding traditional countries as a safe passageway between the mountains and the sea.
Early settlers and explorers were guided along the Bundian Way as they first began to search for a safe passage way to the Monaro plains.
Les Kosez, chair of the Bundian Way Advisory Committee, said the committee was proud to connect with Navy through NUSHIP Supply and support a crew who are actively promoting cultural respect and diversity.
"The Bundian Way is a physical manifestation of our peoples' culture. It was an honour to endorse the name for Supply's main passageway and create such a meaningful connection with the ship," Mr Kosez said.
"The work we have witnessed the crew do so far to integrate Indigenous culture into their workplace has moved our people. We look forward to a long, mutual friendship with the crew through the appointment of Able Seaman Jahlaya Weazel as a rotational representative on our Bundian Way Advisory Committee."
Last year an orca was unveiled as Supply's mascot. It was designed by local Indigenous artists Alison Simpson and Joe Stewart.
Supply is one of the first Navy ships to have such a strong and direct connection to their ceremonial homeport through the mascot creation.
Commanding Officer of NUSHIP Supply, Captain Ben Hissink said the crew has actively sort out ways to create meaningful connections with the Bega Valley Shire and the local Aboriginal community.
"The selection of Eden as our ceremonial homeport was guided by a desire to connect to an area the Navy has had a long-standing relationship with through the ammunitions wharf," Captain Hissink said.
"After HMAS Adelaide supported the bushfire relief efforts it solidified our desire to connect with and support the Bega Valley Shire area as much as we could."
In addition to ongoing engagement with the Eden Aboriginal Land Council to explore more ways to connect with the local Aboriginal community, Supply has also invested time in looking for other ways to support the community at large.
"Our intent is to source as many of our stores as we can from the Bega Valley Shire to ensure we are not just a namesake, but a real and active part of the local community," Captain Hissink said.
Supply is due to commission April 10 and intends to visit the Port of Eden as soon as practicable to share Navy's newest ship with the community.
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