Dubbo's Georgina Coon says she and her family will fight for the right to use their last name and "continue to use it with pride", despite feeling it's under attack.
Ms Coon is part of a well-known market gardening dynasty that's been in business for five generations, with two of her brothers the owners of fruit shop Mick and Paul's.
She has voiced concerns about how the name may be viewed in the future after dairy giant Saputo Australia changed the name of its decades-old national cheese brand Coon.
The name had come from pioneering US dairy processor Edward Coon.
Coon is also a North American-originating racial slur.
In the wake of the Saputo decision Ms Coon has spoken out, saying everyone seems to be overlooking there are "hundreds of families in Australia who own the surname Coon".
She said their name existed long before Coon became a racist term.
"And now we have to fight for the right for our children to grow up in peace and be raised in a society without feeling ashamed or bullied or frowned upon," Ms Coon said.
Her family's history gives Ms Coon a unique insight.
She told the Daily Liberal her father, grandfather and great-grandfather were the subjects of "severe racism" because they were Chinese.
"'Chinc' was the name for them," she said.
Growing up at Mudgee, her grandfather went through a time of being refused service in shops and was beaten up, Ms Coon said.
"The majority of his pickers on the market gardens in Wellington were Aboriginal," she said.
"He resonated with them."
Ms Coon said she grew up at Wellington, and with its high Aboriginal population, she was "well aware of the racism they have had to and still endure".
She said in speaking out, she in no way wished to "diminish any pain or hurt or suffering that [had] already been caused".
Instead Ms Coon wants to see a change, so that Coon is only known as a family name.
I want to change the meaning of it. Eliminate the cruel intention and allow it to live solely as a surname.Georgina Coon
"I absolutely understand the hurt," she said.
"I'm in no way trying to take the experience away or negate the harsh reality of what it creates racially.
"I want to change the meaning of it.
"Eliminate the cruel intention and allow it to live solely as a surname.
"Government and private entities trying to just squash the name will cause more heartache to us, the genuine owners of it."
Ms Coon said she was concerned about what the future may hold for "our kids" - the fifth generation who all work in the fruit shop after school.
"There's no room for racism and it's a tough one to curb, I don't have the answers to it - but I do know squashing and blacklisting our name is not the way to do it," she said.
"We shouldn't have to try and defend our name."
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