The Tasmanian government is expected to release its final Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy next month, placing it on a collision course with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
Draft recommendations from 2018 outlined plans to give greater power to local Aboriginal groups to have the final say on place naming.
The Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Community Alliance, representing seven organisations, supports the changes, believing the current laws that only rely on palawa kani were offensive to local communities.
TRACA co-chair Patsy Cameron said they wanted to "honour our ancestral languages" that had largely been passed down orally.
"The TAC cannot argue that palawa kani is the only language. I have heard different languages sung in different parts of Tasmania," she said.
"The current policy is that people don't have any power over changing the name of country that they live on.
"I've heard a group of Mellukerdee women singing in language. That was stunningly beautiful. We don't want something like that to be ridiculed by other groups."
More on the Aboriginal dual naming policy debate:
Members of TRACA have disputed various dual-named Tasmanian locations, including "palawa" for Tasmania, claiming many Aboriginals called Tasmania "truwana", the dual name given for Cape Barren Island.
Ms Cameron said in some cases it was impossible to have just one name for natural landmarks such as rivers.
"The South Esk River has three names," she said.
"It has a name out of the Ben Lomond Ranges. It has a name when it flows past Perth and Hadspen.
"If you gave South Esk River one name, you just take away the beautiful nuance of our languages and how our languages move over country."
Policy change could result in incorrect place names, TAC claims
The TAC fears the proposed changes would result in incorrect place names based on limited historical research.
According to TAC research, Tasmania already has locations with questionably-applied names such as Naracoopa which was a north-eastern word for "good", and Marrawah which translated to the numeral "one". The TAC is concerned this would continue under the new policy, in which they feared words could be chosen without enough accuracy and historical context.
TAC palawa kani co-ordinator Annie Reynolds said original languages of separate tribal groups were lost after people were rounded up and taken to Wybalenna.
"There are no local languages in Tasmania now. If you want to pick a word out of a word list and say it's the local language, you would have had to do a lot of background research to establish that that word was correctly identified as being from that language," she said.
"You can pick a word from a word list in its English spelling out and say this is a word said to be from this area. But you can't claim that accurately as the name for that place, or thing, unless you go through the kind of process that goes into retrieving palawa kani.
"Place names revived in palawa kani are the authentic words of those places, there is no doubt about that. No one is more critical of our processes than ourselves."
The practice of groups ignoring, or not seeking out, TAC advice in using Aboriginal language continues to this day.
TAC staff were taking a school group through the QVMAG's exhibition, The First Tasmanians, when students noticed different spellings.
Language and youth worker Rosetta Thomas said concerns were raised, but ignored.
"We believe they just got them from a word list," she said.
North-West names next on the list before policy review
The TAC was attempting to progress name changes for nine North-West locations when the current dual naming policy - established in 2012 - was effectively halted for the government review.
It was aimed at renaming locations with particularly offensive names where massacres took place, such as Suicide Bay and Victory Hill.
The proposed new names were contested by a local Aboriginal group however, disputing the spelling and application which was based on palawa kani methodology.
The name changes proposed, based on research from the TAC, included:
Cape Grim: The name pilri was proposed for Cape Grim, the site of the killing of 30 Aborigines in 1828. "Cape Grim" was named by Matthew Flinders due to the weather conditions of the area. The word pilri - of the Cape Grim/Robbins Island language - was revived based on notes by a Van Diemens Land Company worker, and later notes by a servant who accompanied George Augustus Robinson. It shares similarities with "pilitika", the name of the nearby Robbins Islands.
The Doughboys (Islands): Robinson recorded a word translated into palawa kani spelling as ranamitim in 1832 to refer to both islands. He also recorded ranapim for the outer island, and kuyntarim for the inner. "rana" appears as a prefix for other North-West place names.
Woolnorth Point: In his 1832 Vocabulary, Robinson sketched a map of the most north-western point of Tasmania, noting Woolnorth Point as a word revived as layrimanuk.
Suicide Bay: Robinson was introduced to Aboriginal man Tanaminawayt in 1830, and during his conversations he had Suicide Bay described as luwuka. Tanaminawayt said luwuka was "where the people were shot/by the men/by the shepherds" in February, 1828.
Victory Hill: Six Aborigines were killed after they threatened shepherds in a hut near Victory Hill. Robinson visited this hut in 1834, and the area was described to him as timuk, using a "k" ending similar to other words in western Tasmanian Aboriginal language.
Niggerhead Rock: While there was no recorded Aboriginal name for the small island off Trefoil Island, its obvious offensive nature made it a priority for a name change. The word karanutung was listed for the outer Doughboy island, but was not needed, as ranapim, with its connections to other names for the Doughboys, had been revived. So karanutung could be available to be used for this small island in the same area, following evidence seen of the Aboriginal practice of adapting existing words to different things
Cape Grim massacre specific location: There is no English name for this cliff. The Robbins Island/Cape Grim name taynayuwa was told to Robinson as the name of this cliff, at the same time Tanaminawayt told him.
Cave opposite the Doughboys: The word nakali was told to Robinson to describe this location as he he sought accounts of the Cape Grim massacre. "kali" has been listed as the palawa kani word for "hole", making it similar to a word that could describe a cave.
Coastal point opposite Victory Hill: Robinson's 1832 sketch map also showed a word which corresponded with the location of the point south-west of Davisons Point. Robinson noted "rarn-er-bim-dine-moon", which is spelt ranapim taynamun in palawa kani. The palawa kani alphabet was designed to most closely represent the original sounds in a consistent way, as well as accommodating uniquely Aboriginal features of the original languages such as interchangeable sounds of 't' and 'd', 'k' and 'g' and 'p' and 'b'.