It’s NAIDOC Week and Australia Post Has Added a Spot for Traditional Place Names on Parcels

There’s always room to be more diverse and respectful. Recently, we’ve seen some small changes that make a massive difference.

Just like Instagram’s implementation of an official spot for pronouns, Australia Post has designed its parcel sleeves with a section titled ‘Traditional place name (if known)’, giving the option to pay respect to the original landowners.

This dedicated spot will prompt Australians to include the First Nation country, just above the street address on a letter or parcel, to be phased in as part of NAIDOC week.

This is such an important and clever initiative by Australia Post, because not only does it pay respect to the traditional place name, but it also helps educate Australians on the geography of the traditional place names and what they mean.

Many Australians are well-educated on Aboriginal culture, but many more are not. Something that seems simple – like the name of a place – is a huge sign of respect and a step closer to understanding the bigger picture.

The reality that we’re living on stolen land isn’t one that we’re often forced to face, but it’s the sad truth behind the evolution of Australia and that deserves to be recognised.

As reported by ABC, Gomeroi woman Rachael McPhail has been petitioning Australia Post to make the change, as part of a campaign to include traditional place names in all addresses.

“For every town, for every place in this country, we have an original name, and it’s important to use them as a celebration and to recognise the history and the connection of First People to country,” she said in an article on ABC.

According to McPhail, the next step in this initiative is to compile a comprehensive database of all the traditional place names, so people could easily find the name of where they’re sending their mail.

Such a database would require a national, collaborative effort, she said.

“What that entails is comprehensive and respectful consultation with First Nations people, elders, and community leaders, all around the country,” she said.

“We need to make sure we are recording and collating that information all around the country.”

As part of her broader campaign to increase awareness via social media, McPhail is collecting photos of traditional place names in addresses, on things such as drivers licenses and parcels on social media.

Australia Post national Indigenous manager Chris Heelan said the service was happy to be involved.

“It’s a real easy thing to do, it’s a real simple thing to do, but it’s a real, powerful opportunity for our customers to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” he said.

“It’s like they say, from little things, big things grow.”

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