ALBURY'S War Memorial should include an acknowledgement of the city's birth as a military outpost, historian Bruce Pennay believes.
The idea is among several that the Charles Sturt University associate professor has proposed to boost awareness of the city's history and the role played by Aboriginal inhabitants in its creation.
Dr Pennay would also like Albury Council to recognise the Wiradjuri alongside tributes to explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell and to support greater use of the city's Indigenous name Bungambrawatha.
"I don't think Albury has really explored its start very well and I think if black lives matter it's important to know about the earliest encounters," Dr Pennay said.
"It's important to whites and blacks."
Dr Pennay said the Faithfull Massacre, involving Aborigines and settlers at Benalla in 1838, led directly to the establishment of Albury as a military outpost.
NSW Governor George Gipps ordered police huts be established along the Murray River to quell potential Aboriginal reprisals from those in the Port Phillip District.
Dr Pennay said that prompted the creation of Albury as a base against uprisings and to protect the route from Sydney.
"It was a lookout, a guard, a deterrent but they (troops) had weapons and the people of Albury had weapons, they had firearms to guard against Aboriginal attack," he said.
Dr Pennay said given the military involvement in the origin of Albury it ought be represented in one of the new alcoves built around the base of the city's War Memorial.
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"Our first military venture was to guard against Aboriginal attacks," he said.
Asked how he thought the community would react to the suggestion, Dr Pennay said that was tied to the monument's context.
"If the war memorial belongs to the people of Albury it will be favourable, if it belongs to the RSL it won't be favourable," he said.
"It depends on who owns it and I know who paid for it."
Dr Pennay was referring to funds raised via public subscription for the monument.
Albury RSL sub-branch president Graham Docksey was reluctant to comment on Dr Pennay's idea, but said an alcove would honour Indigenous service personnel and its plaque design had been done in consultation with the late Aunty Nancy Rooke and other Wiradjuri members.
Dr Pennay also wants a memorial to Hume in the Albury Botanic Gardens and a plaque to Hume and Hovell's expedition on the front of MAMA to have a rider.
"I think we should be adding simple quotes saying 'we acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and river'," he said.
"It shows it wasn't just a discovery, that the Murray River had been there a long time and and discovered and used by generations of people."
In mapping the site of Albury in 1838, government surveyor Thomas Townsend reported the location was referred to by the "natives" as Bungambrawatha.
However, Dr Pennay said that was deemed unsuitable to be adopted by the colonial government as the official name.
"They didn't think it sounded very nice, so they looked for another name," he said.
"It was not euphonious was the word they used at the time."
Dr Pennay would like the NSW government's dual naming provisions to be taken up by the council.
"They might consider the state's dual naming policy by exploring some of the best ways of incorporating 'Bungambrawatha' in the city's name," he said.
"Dual names are for occasional use in support of cultural recognition.
"They are not substitute names.
"As it is the derivatives of the word 'Al-bury' show it as a valuable linguistic fossil, an important reminder of the town's beginnings as an 'old fortification'."
Dr Pennay said he was rebuffed after suggesting to the council that it tell "the story of the creation of Albury as a town to restrain Aboriginal resistance to dispossession" in its redeveloped riverside park.
He did so as a member of the council's urban and public art committee.