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Place Names Register Extract

Coonan Street

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Name Coonan
Type Designation Street
Place Id 24892
Place Type Road
Status Registered
Date Registered 10 August 2018
Locality / Suburb  
Local Government Area  
History/Origin Norma Coonan (1941- 2015)

Norma and her husband Kevin arrived in Darwin towards the end of 1969 and first lived at the Bindaree Caravan Park. She was committed to making Darwin home, starting a family and raising their two children there. Norma remained in Darwin through Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve in 1974 and during the aftermath and rebuilding of the town.

Norma initially worked for the Forestry Department, which was situated at the Berrimah Experimental Farm complex, and later the Electricity Supply undertaking (now Power and Water) and the Department of Lands. She was an active member of the community, working for the Duke of Edinburgh?s Award Scheme (DEAS), where she was also a committed volunteer, and also working for Somerville Community Services until her retirement.

Through her work with DEAS, Norma showed great commitment to the youth of the Northern Territory. Although employed on a part-time basis, Norma contributed much of her own time to the Scheme. She was regularly an emergency contact for activities and encouraged and supported not only those undertaking the program, but also adult supervisors and parents, to assist young people in the Scheme to achieve their goals.

Norma was also known for her skills in research and document preparation having been tasked with accurately typing the Kenbi Land Claim in 1979. This research work gave Norma and her family the unique opportunity to learn about a part of Darwin's heritage and identity, visiting Indigenous communities and recording the stories of the Larrakia People, as the Traditional Owners of the land where Darwin has been built today.

In 2016, Maria Brandl, Michael Walsh and Adrienne Haritos, authors of the Kenbi land claim: to vacant crown land in the Cox Peninsula, Bynoe Harbour and Port Patterson areas of the Northern Territory of Australia (prepared for the Northern Land Council on behalf of the Traditional Owners) acknowledged that at the time this work was needed and the quality Norma delivered helped with the difficult circumstances of the Land Claim. Norma?s work found its way through most of the 37 years of testing by legal argument up until 2016, when it was settled by the Northern Territory Government.

Norma passed away at age 74 in Darwin in 2015, so she did not see the hand-back of the title to the Larrakia people on 21 June 2016.

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
10/08/2018 Date added to the Register ( Certified Plan S2018/077)
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