John Helder Wedge (1793-1872)
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Port Phillip Association member, surveyor John Helder Wedge, is largely responsible for carving up Batman’s purchase and also for giving most local landmarks their names.
Even though he often referred to the river running through the heart of the old shire as the ‘Weariby’, he also renamed it the Peel. The Werribee River was also known as the Arndell, the Exe and the Tweed.
However, the local preference was for the retention of Aboriginal names, hence many of the names Wedge bestowed on the Wyndham Shire are still in use today: Bulban, Cocoroc, Mambourin, Mouyong, Tarneit, Truganina and, of course, Werribee. Whereas others such as: Mooradannock and Pyhwitjorrk, which appear on early shire maps have fallen out of favour.
He also assigned Aboriginal names to regions west of Wyndham: Barwon, Corio, Moorabool and the You Yangs, and gave the Yarra River its name.