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Many features in Victoria have Aboriginal names. While these features are defined differently to western concepts of place, their Aboriginal names are just as important to preserve.

Features we can add to VICNAMES register include:

  • sites on a mountain or beach
  • rocky  escarpments
  • rocky outcrops or stone arrangements

Who can develop a proposal

Any person or organisation can develop a proposal. But you must gain approval from the relevant Traditional Owners to register a feature’s Aboriginal name.

This applies to:

  • general public
  • emergency services and other public service providers
  • municipal councils
  • government departments
  • authorities including Traditional Owner groups
  • The Naming rules

    All naming proposals Aboriginal using language must follow the process in the Naming rules.

    The Geographic Place Names Act 1998 (the Act) states that the Guidelines, in this case the Naming rules: “must set out the process to be followed before selecting or assigning an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander name of a place”.

    Rules to consider

    There are three key principles which encourage using Aboriginal language and one other principle relating to the use of Aboriginal language. Excerpts have been provided below:

    • Principle (F) Recognition and use of Aboriginal languages in naming
    • Principle (G) Dual names
    • Principle (J) Language

    How to develop an Aboriginal Naming proposal

    Consultation is a key component in the process of naming and renaming roads, features and localities. The process below must be used when proposing to use a name from an Aboriginal language.

    For community

    If you’re a member of the community and would like to make a proposal.

    Refer to How to develop a naming proposal for community .

    For naming authorities

    Find out how to consult and engage with Traditional Owners before starting an Aboriginal naming proposal.

    Page last updated: 28/10/21