Council endorses names

On Monday 12 September 2022, Council endorsed the names recommended for rooms and facilities within Parramatta Aquatic Centre based on the findings of the community engagement process.

The endorsed recommendation

(a) That Council note the outcomes of the second stage of public engagement process on naming suggestions for the elements (rooms, facilities) within the facility

(b) Further, that Council endorse the names recommended for the constituent elements within the Parramatta Aquatic Centre as identified in paragraph 4 of this report.

Results from community engagement

The community was invited to select between one and eight options from a list of sixteen names, with an additional option to select ‘none of the above’.

Overall, a total of 87 contributions were received: 85 via the online survey hosted on Participate Parramatta, and two via email. The following five names were voted most popular:

a. Barra Ngurang (eel room)

b. Yanada Ngurang (moon room)

c. Bugi Badu (swimming pool)

d. Gunggung Badu (frog pool)

e. Budyari Badu (good water)

Gurang Badu (babies' pool) was voted sixth most popular in the engagement activity. However, it is proposed to use Gurang Ngurang as the name for the crèche service that will operate within the Community Room, in addition to other uses.

Allocation of names

Based on the outcomes from the community engagement process and the feedback of Dharug community consultants, the following names were allocated to selected elements within the facility:

English name
(primary wayfinding)

Dual name
(incorporated in wayfinding signage where possible and on door plates)

(referenced on actual door plates or interpretative panels)

Studio 1

Guman Ngurang

Casuarina room

Studio 2

Barra Ngurang

Eel room

Studio 3

Yanada Ngurang

Moon room

Community Room

Baraba Ngurang

Bullrush room

Kevin Hession Stand



50m Pool

Memorial Pool

25m Pool

Bugi Badu

Swimming pool

Spa, Steam and Sauna

Budyari Badu

Good water

Program Pool

Gulyangarri Badu

Children's pool

Activity Room

Dyanmila Ngurang

Play place

Splash Play Area

Gunggung Badu

Frog pool

Crèche Service

Gurang Ngurang

Infants' place

Dual naming approach

The inclusion of dual naming of the facilities will be worked through with a wayfinding specialist to confirm how this is best reflected in the signage.

  • It is anticipated that, for the purposes of signage, the English name will be primary.
  • Wherever possible, the Dharug name will be incorporated into signage and on nameplates for the spaces.
  • The English translation of the Dharug names will be incorporated into name plates and interpretative panels.


Overall, 10 spaces or pools in the new facility have been selected to have a dual name. The proposed names are in addition to the names noted and endorsed at the 11 July 2022 meeting, namely the Kevin Hession Stand and the Memorial Pool (50m pool).

Stage Two

This consultation closed at 5pm Wednesday 27 July 2022. Thank you to all who participated.


On Monday 11 July 2022, Council resolved that Parramatta's new swimming and leisure centre would be named, Parramatta Aquatic Centre.

The community was invited to help us finalise the names to be used within the centre for the various pools, program rooms, outdoor areas, and services!

In line with the feedback received in Stage One, Council chose to honour a theme supported by many – the language, culture and connection to country of our First Nations people, the Dharug.

Proposed Dharug names

Rooms, spaces and services

  • Barra Ngurang (eel room)
  • Yanada Ngurang (moon room)
  • Baraba Ngurang (bullrush room)
  • Guman Ngurang (casuarina room)
  • Dyanmila Ngurang (play place)
  • Ngarang Wirambi (little bat)

Barra Ngurang (eel room) and Yanada Ngurang (moon room) reference one of the commissioned artworks, Five Eels and Moon by Dharug elder, Aunty Julie.


  • Gulyangarri Badu (childrens pool)
  • Wurridyal Badu (mullet pool)
  • Daringyal Badu (stingray pool)
  • Gurang Badu (babies' pool)
  • Gunggung Badu (frog pool)
  • Bugi Badu (swimming pool)
  • Ngarang Magura (little fish pool)
  • Ngarang Barra Badu (baby eel pool)
  • Budyari Badu (good water)
  • Gudugulung Badu (turtle pool)

Stage One

Located in the Mays Hill precinct, the new aquatic centre facility will be much more than a place to swim - it will offer recreational and wellbeing facilities for all age groups, abilities, backgrounds, skills and interests. Check out our new interactive facility map below to get a better idea of what the centre will include!

Naming the spaces, rooms, pools and services

With construction in full swing, City of Parramatta Council engaged with the community to name key elements of the aquatic and leisure centre. Council also sought input from local Dharug community representatives.

Community engagement

Stage One consultation closed at 5pm on Wednesday 15 June 2022. Thank you to everyone who contributed a name or voted on a suggestion. Check out some of the great options on the post-it note wall below!

Council reviewed the suggestions and resolved to present a shortlist of words acknowledging the language, culture and connection to country of our First Nations people, the Dharug.

Follow this page for future updates!

14 June, 2022

User21746 says:

Red-Crowned Toadlet (learn to swim)

14 June, 2022

User21746 says:

White Swallow Wattle Room Flax Leafed Wattle Room

14 June, 2022

User21746 says:

Rose Hill Lawn

14 June, 2022

User21746 says:

Golden Bell Frog Splash Zone

9 June, 2022

Shaz says:

Just a suggestion- make sure the names are equally distributed between feminine and masculine names

7 June, 2022

Ozchicksta says:

The Eels Swimming Hole

3 June, 2022

kturner says:

Rakali - this is a native water rat that was once possibly found in Parramatta LGA as eDNA was picked up in some surveys.

2 June, 2022

Geo22 says:

Word for 'water' or 'flow of water' in Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Tamil, Gujarati and Dharug.

2 June, 2022

Geo22 says:

Dharug word for the Mays Hill site Names of pre-colonial plant species Dharug words for Microbats, Powerful Owl and Grey-headed Flying Fox

2 June, 2022

estockburn says:

A Dharug word for baby eel or little fish or tadpole for the childrens pool or splash area would be a lovely idea.

2 June, 2022

AndrewS says:

Charles Frazer - Colonial Botanist in NSW from 1821 to 1831 and is buried in Parramatta. More than 30 native plant species named after him

29 May, 2022

Christopherkendrick says:

I think we should name a pool after our former prime minister Harold Holt. It's what he would have wanted.

Parramatta's aquatic and leisure centre - Facility map

Click on the glowing icons below to learn more about the different spaces, rooms and pools in the new aquatic and leisure centre!

Facility map of Parramatta's new aquatic and leisure centre

Dharug Dhalang

How to pronounce








Gulyangarri Badu

Gul-yan-ga-rri Ba-du

children’s pool

Wurridyal Badu

Wu-rri-dyal Ba-du

mullet pool

Daringyal Badu

Da-ring-yal Ba-du

stingray pool

Gurang Badu

Gu-rang Ba-du

Babies pool

Gunggung Badu

Gung-gung Ba-du

Frog pool

Bugi Badu

Bu-gi Ba-du

Swimming Pool

Ngarang Magura Badu

Nga-rang Ma-gu-ra Ba-du

Little Fish Pool

Ngarang Barra Badu

Nga-rang Ba-du

Baby Eel Pool

Budyari Badu

Bu-dya-ri Ba-du

Good Water

Gudugulung Badu

Gu-du-gu-lung Ba-du

Turtle Pool

Dyanmila Ngurang

Dyan-mi-la Ngu-rang

Play place

Ngarang Wirambi

Nga-rang Wi-ram-bi

Little bat

Guman Ngurang

Gu-man Ngu-rang

Casuarina Room

Baraba Ngurang

Ba-ra-ba Ngu-rang

Bulrush Room


Stress is placed on the first syllable (beginning of the word)


as in cuppa, love & mother


as in bit, sit, pin & pretty


as in put, look & should


as in father, car & wagan (crow)


as in see, ski,& peach,


as in junior or long look and put sound (held longer)

ay, ayi

as in eye

aw, awu

as in towel


Like ‘th’at


Like j or ch (but no puffing)


as in si-nger or sa-nger


as in onion, canyon


as in yes


as in the pirate ‘r’


a trill like saying butter

Frequently asked questions


The Post-It Note Wall is an interactive engagement tool that allows participants to provide public facing comments on digital 'post-it notes'.

Throughout stage one consultation, community members were able to suggest names that align with specific criteria (see next question).

Before being made public, these suggestions were moderated by Council officers to ensure that they were not a duplicate of an existing post-it note, were appropriate, in-line with the established naming criteria, and provided a short explanation as to what the name means/represents.

Once made public, other community members were able to 'up-vote' in support of a suggestion.

Please also note that all First Nations/Dharug name suggestions from the broader community in stage one were not made public in line with the cultural protocols that Council adheres too which ensures that any First Nations/Dharug names must come from Dharug representatives.

During stage one consultation, the community were invited to suggest names for the spaces, rooms, pools and services that aligned to one or more of the following criteria:

  • Landmarks, flora and fauna within the City of Parramatta LGA and its waterways;
  • Deceased individuals from the City of Parramatta community who have made a significant contribution to health, wellbeing and/or swimming culture;
  • Deceased individuals or events that recognise the history of the Mays Hill site.

At the same time, Council engaged with local Dharug community representatives for some suggested First Nations name options against the same criteria.

The naming criteria for this consultation is a helpful guide that draws influence from the New South Wales Geographical Names Board who have developed guidelines for the determination of place names.

The new aquatic and leisure centre will be an important community asset that will offer a wide range of swimming, recreation, fitness, and wellbeing services. There are several elements within the new centre that would benefit from having a name that reflects the character, location, and identity of the facility. These include physical spaces such as the various pools, program rooms and outdoor areas, as well as services offered throughout the facility.

The 50-metre outdoor pool and the grandstand seating are excluded from this process. Please see separate FAQs below for more information. In addition, the gym and swimming programs are also excluded from this process.

At the conclusion of stage one consultation, the most popular names as indicated by 'up-voting' were reviewed to determine suitability. This review process involved Council officers looking into whether there were any copyright/trademarking issues or any other possible concerns with the names.

The most popular names selected by the community during stage two consultation will be allocated to spaces, rooms, pools and services within the new aquatic and leisure centre as deemed most appropriate by Council officers.

The names allocated against different elements will then be presented to Council for formal endorsement.

City of Parramatta acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this land, the Dharug people. The Dharug people still populate the areas of Parramatta and have a very close and special connection to the area, in particular the Mays Hill site where the new centre will be located.

It is culturally appropriate and respectful for consultation with local Aboriginal communities including relevant organisations and local Dharug representatives to take place when First Nations names are being considered.

Kevin Hession was a long-time member of the Parramatta Memorial Swimming Club and made a positive contribution to the community through the Club’s training programs. In fact, the grandstand bleachers at the Parramatta War Memorial Pool were named in his honour.

At the 28 September 2020 meeting, Council resolved to name the grandstand seating at the new facility as The Kevin Hession Stand.

In the 1950s and 1960s, inspired by the hosting of the Melbourne Olympics and the memory of World War II, war memorial pools were established by communities across New South Wales.

To mark and honour the legacy of the former Parramatta War Memorial Pool, it is proposed that the 50m outdoor pool in the new facility be named the Memorial Pool.

Further consultation is being conducted with the Parramatta RSL Sub-branch and the Parramatta Memorial Swimming Club before a final recommendation is made to Council for endorsement.

The new facility replaces the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre (PWMSC), which was opened in 1959 and closed in 2017 as part of the expansion of, what is now, CommBank Stadium.

The ‘aquatic and leisure centre’ title was a working project name – it was never intended as a permanent name for the facility.

Councillors shortlisted names that went through further analysis and a review which included market testing, marketing analysis and targeted sentiment research.

Council formally decided the final name for the facility at the Council Meeting on Monday 11 July 2022.


The City of Parramatta is changing. Our community is expected to double in size to almost 400,000 residents by 2036. As one of the fastest-growing regions in NSW, our City needs a contemporary aquatic and leisure centre to meet our community’s needs now and for many years to come.

Aquatic and leisure facilities play an important role in providing health and wellbeing benefits for our community across all age groups, abilities, backgrounds, skills and interests. Community facilities, such as Parramatta's new aquatic and leisure centre, are an important part of our City and act as a meeting place for a diverse and interactive community.

The Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool, a much-loved traditional outdoor-only facility, was closed in March 2017 to allow for the development of Commbank Stadium. The new, larger stadium required a greater surrounding radius, including circulation zones for pedestrian and emergency vehicle access.

The new centre will be located within the Mays Hill Precinct in Parramatta Park. This location was decided as part of a comprehensive master plan and community consultation process.

The aquatic and leisure centre will sit on the eastern portion of the former golf course, adjacent to Park Parade near the corner of Pitt Street. Part of the design brief for the new centre was to respect the open space and heritage values and district vistas from the parkland.

For more information, see the Mays Hill Precinct Master Plan on the Parramatta Park website.

Parramatta's new aquatic and leisure centre reflects Council’s vision for a multipurpose, sustainable and smart project. The team has designed a facility that is more than a swimming facility. It will be a new form of social space for the community – a place to gather with family and friends, swim and play, and enhance the community’s health and wellbeing.

The design for the new aquatic and leisure centre was completed by Andrew Burges Architects, Grimshaw Architects and McGregor Coxall Landscape Architects. The consortium was chosen from a shortlist of four exceptional entries following a high-calibre international Design Excellence Competition.

Designed by Andrew Burges Architects, Grimshaw Architects and McGregor Coxall, the aquatic and leisure centre will feature:

  • A 50m outdoor pool and landscaped leisure area
  • A 25m indoor pool
  • A dedicated learn to swim pool and water play area
  • A full-sized wellness centre with a modern gym and program rooms
  • Sauna, steam and spa facilities
  • A large café
  • 200-plus parking spaces

The centre includes sensitive integration with the site’s Parramatta Park surrounds. The building will offer a generous use of space and light, as well as single-level accessible entry and pathways. The ring enclosure that forms the primary identifying element of the design takes inspiration from both the history of farm enclosures and river swimming enclosures along the Parramatta River. The design also takes into account the heritage, topography and other constraints of the Mays Hill Precinct.

All visitors to Parramatta’s aquatic and leisure centre will have equal access. Accessible features have been incorporated in the facility’s design. These include:

  • universally accessible change facilities for people of all ages and abilities;
  • accessible lift and ramps to all indoor and outdoor areas;
  • ramps in 50m and 25m pools, and a beach-like, zero-depth entry in the water play zone.

Council wants everyone to be able to enjoy its new community facility so accessibility is at the forefront of planning and design.

Lipman is the builder contracted for Parramatta’s new $88.6 million aquatic and leisure centre. Lipman is an Australian family-owned commercial builder that has operated in Sydney for more than 55 years.

Lipman have proven experience in delivering aquatic and leisure facilities, including Raging Waters Sydney (formerly Wet’n’Wild) and Trinity Grammar Aquatic Centre, as well as key public infrastructure such as Parramatta’s O’Connell Street Public School.

Following approval of the Development Application in December 2020, the official first sod turning ceremony was held in March 2021. Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the site, the new aquatic and leisure centre is expected to officially open in 2023.


If you need assistance providing feedback, or you would like information supplied in another language or format, please contact Council's Community Engagement Team via 1300 617 058 or

If you would like to speak to someone over the phone in another language, call TIS National on 131 450 for a free interpreting service. Let them know you want to speak to City of Parramatta Council and your chosen language and they will connect you.


市议会致力于确保每个人都能获得所需要的信息。如果您需要以其它语言或格式获取信息,请致电 1300 617 058 或发送电邮至

如果您希望以其它语言进行电话交谈,请致电 131 450 联系 TIS 全国服务中心获取免费传译服务。告诉他们您想与 Parramatta 市议会通话和您选用的语言,他们就会为您接通。

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