The mural in an alley way near the skate park appeared yesterday and (at right) the photo of Koby Mitchell which clearly inspired it.
The mural in an alley way near the skate park appeared yesterday and (at right) the photo of Koby Mitchell which clearly inspired it.

Push to rename skatepark after Koby takes a new turn

THE grieving loved ones of young Koby Mitchell are working with the Indigenous community to come up with a new Gumbaynggirr name for the skatepark he loved so much.

The 19-year-old grew up in Coffs Harbour and recently moved to the Jindabyne area.

He went missing from a hotel at around 1am on Thursday, July 16. His car was located locked and secured at a campground on the Alpine Way and three days later his body was located.

Koby was a keen skater and lifelong friend Charlotte Bennett-Hill kicked off a campaign to have the Coffs Harbour skatepark named in his honour.

As discussions with Coffs Harbour City Councillors and staff have progressed, loved ones have decided to work with the Indigenous community to come up with an appropriate Gumbaynggirr name.

"We wanted to pay homage to the Indigenous people of Australia. We felt that we don't do that enough and specially as young people we should be pushing that more, and we wanted not only to honour Koby but other skaters," Charlotte said.

Charlotte Bennett-Hill (below Koby) has been a lifelong friend.
Charlotte Bennett-Hill (below Koby) has been a lifelong friend.

"We're looking at names that mean connection, family and coming together so people inside and outside the skating community can feel it is a meeting place of past lives and present."

They are working closely with the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative at Nambucca.

The name should be determined in the coming days and an application will go to Council.

Friend Dylan Connell recently posted a tribute to Koby in the online skateboard magazine Thrasher:

"He was an incredible skater. His friendship, loving nature and passion for skateboarding touched the lives of everyone he crossed paths with. If he wasn't working, or on his board, he was watching Thrasher parts or teaching the younger generation some new tricks."


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