by Geographical Names Board

The Geographical Names Board (GNB) of NSW approved the official assigning of the name Irene Crump Reserve in Freshwater.

The official name was gazetted on Friday 2 June 2023 – view the Gazette notice here.

To recognise the new name we will work with Irene Crump's family and the applicants from Friends of Freshwater who proposed the name change to install signage that explains the story behind the new name.

Consultation history

The proposal to rename Undercliff Reserve in Freshwater, Irene Crump Reserve was publicly exhibited between Friday 27 May and Sunday 26 June 2022. We received 127 submissions, with the majority of respondents supporting the proposal.

The naming was endorsed at the Council meeting held on Tuesday 22 November 2022.

View the Council minutes (Item 13.3, page 23) and Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report.

Following the Council meeting, we applied to the Geographical Names Board (GNB) to have the name officially changed. The application included a copy of all submissions received during Council's public exhibition of the proposal. All personal identifying information was redacted.

The GNB advertised the proposal between 28 April 2023 and 28 May 2023. They received 20 submissions, all in support of the proposal, and have approved the proposal.


At the southern end of Freshwater Beach (see map below), Undercliff Reserve includes part of the popular walkway and stairs that form an important pedestrian connection between Freshwater and Queenscliff Beaches.

Council received an application from Friends of Freshwater Inc. to rename the reserve the Irene Crump Reserve. The proposal aims to recognise the outstanding contribution made by Irene Crump in securing public ownership of the reserve and saving it from private development.

In addition to recognising Irene Crump's contribution in securing public ownership of the reserve, the naming will also acknowledge her contribution to the community as a prominent environmental advocate and leader for over four decades and as a long-standing director of the Harbord Community Pre-school.

A Manly Daily article from 11 September 1991 recounts the events in 1970 that led to the preservation of the reserve. The article states that a development application had been lodged to construct home units on the site and down onto the sand and that, while still under assessment, the developer attempted to clear the site. Upon hearing this, Irene Crump went to the site and climbed what is understood to have been a large Coral tree and refused to come down until work stopped. She was dubbed ‘Harbord’s bravest woman’ when she recalled that:

They were cutting the branches off the tree from around my legs and told me that if I didn’t move I could get hurt or even killed … So I told them there were more ways to die for your country than going to war.

Mrs Crump spent two months fighting the proposed development in court. Eventually the development was scaled back, and part of the land was retained for community use.

Requests to name or rename reserves falls under the jurisdiction of the Geographical Names Board of NSW (GNB). If endorsed by Council a request will be forwarded to the GNB who will undertake its own public notification period prior to considering official assigning of the name.

The proposal is consistent with the Geographical Names Board of NSW Policy – Place Naming as well as Council’s Policy for the Naming of our Reserves, Facilities and Roads.

View the location plan below.

Location map - Undercliff Reserve, Freshwater

Location map showing Undercliff Reserve in Freshwater