Jennifer McLean won The Chronicle’s Name the Whale competition with Mirrhi, which is Aboriginal for “little girl”.
Jennifer McLean won The Chronicle’s Name the Whale competition with Mirrhi, which is Aboriginal for “little girl”. Jocelyn Watts

Beautiful name for whale's bub

MARYBOROUGH’S Jenny McLean has always thought Aboriginal names are beautiful.

So it’s no surprise that she drew inspiration from the Aboriginal language when suggesting a name for the calf of Hervey Bay’s iconic whale, Nala.

Nala’s calves have traditionally be named after characters from Disney’s Lion King movies but, with names fast running out, this year Wally and Trish Franklin from the Oceania Project challenged the public to come up with a name fitting of Nala’s offspring.

The Chronicle received dozens of suggestions for names that had some unique and beautiful meanings.

But it was Jenny’s suggestion of Mirrhi, the Aboriginal name meaning little girl, which won the day.

Jenny was thrilled when she heard her name had been chosen – but she also felt a little deja vu.

Years ago she suggested the Aboriginal word Carramar, meaning shade of trees, when the Maryborough kindergarten was rebranding, and that was a winner too.

“There are so many beautiful Aboriginal names,” she said.

“I don’t know why we don’t use them more often.”

Jenny sent in several suggestions for Nala’s calf but, after finding out the calf was female, Mirrhi stood out above the rest.

“This is one of the highlights of my life,” she said.

“It’s a huge honour for me.”

Jenny is passionate about all animals, but especially whales, and says she hopes Nala’s calf returns to the area to visit often.

She has been whale watching once, many years ago, and loved the experience.

Now, after winning a whale watching trip after successfully naming Nala’s calf, she can’t wait to go again.

Wally described the name as “beautiful” and said it was a fitting moniker for Nala’s calf.

“It’s a beautiful departure from the Lion King names,” he said.

He said Aboriginal names could provide inspiration for naming Nala’s calves further down the track when she brought them to Hervey Bay.



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