Racheal McPhail Gomeroi Woman, campaigner and activist

Traditional Place Names

Rachael McPhail from Trusted Support Coordination is leading a campaign to include the Indigenous place name when posting mail. The initiative came to her earlier this year when she decided to start putting Wiradjuri Country on her mail. 

In her words, Rach explains, “Australia has an amazing history, that spans back at least 60,000 years, and can be celebrated by all Australians. Every area in this country had an original place name, prior to being given its colonial town/ city name, and I believe that it’s important to acknowledge this.” 

We agree! Such a small thing to do can have such a huge and lasting impact. By doing this we are acknowledging the traditional owners of our beautiful land and our indigenous history. 

This small idea is now spreading quickly after Rachael started an Instagram account place_names_in_addresses and caught the attention of ABC Illawarra, then ABC Australia, Triple J and more who are all sharing this story. You might have also noticed that shows like Gardening Australia, Landline and Going Places with Ernie Dingo are using traditional place names at the beginning of each segment and supporters are hoping that this might be adopted by more TV channels.  

Rachael has now started a campaign on Change.org and met with representatives from Australia Post to create a database of traditional place names that cross references with postcode. In order to do this accurately, they will need to respectfully consult with elders from all across this continent, which may take some time. 

For the moment while we wait for Australia Post to take action, she is asking everyone to please start including traditional place names as part of the address on your postage and support the campaign any way you can.

One way to look up the traditional place name of your region is by using this map on the AIATIS website: https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/map-indigenous-australia and by confirming this with a local elder.

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