Australia Post will deliver mail to Aboriginal place names

·2-min read
Australia Post said it had updated its guidelines so Australians could include traditional place names in the addresses of senders or recipients.
Australia Post said it had updated its guidelines so Australians could include traditional place names in the addresses of senders or recipients.

Australia's postal service has started delivering mail addressed to indigenous place names, in response to an online campaign calling for the change.

Australia Post said it had updated its guidelines so Australians could include traditional place names in the addresses of senders or recipients.

"Acknowledging the traditional custodians of this land, their ancestors, elders and the commitment to reconciliation with indigenous Australians is very important to us," the company said on Instagram on Wednesday.

"That's why we've worked on how you can include traditional place names when sending and receiving your parcel."

The move comes in response to a social media campaign launched in August by indigenous woman Rachael McPhail, who lives in Wiradjuri Country.

More than three percent of Australians identify as indigenous, according to the country's Bureau of Statistics, and most regions and towns have an Aboriginal place name, whether they are commonly known by it or not.

Central Sydney, for example, is located in the Eora Nation -- traditionally home to almost 30 Aboriginal clan groups -- while Brisbane is in Yuggera and Melbourne is in Woiworung.

Almost 15,000 people signed a petition backing McPhail's push to make original place names a standard part of addresses.

"Australia has an amazing history, that spans back at least 60,000 years, and can be celebrated by all Australians," she said on Instagram in August.

McPhail this week thanked Australia Post for taking "the first important step towards acknowledging traditional place names in Australian addresses".

"Adding in the nation or Country that you are on is something easy that all Aussies can do to be more inclusive of our Indigenous history," she said.

The next step would be creating a database of traditional place names cross-referenced with modern postcodes, that has been verified by indigenous elders -- a project she told public broadcaster ABC would require a "huge" logistical effort spanning the vast continent.