Here’s How To Include Traditional Place Names On Your Mail So You Can Be A Better Ally

By Morgan Reardon
13th Nov 2020

a letter on top of a colourful background depicting a wall with art and a post box.

If you’ve been looking for ways to expand your First Nations knowledge and become a better ally, here is yet another chance. 

Back in August, Gomeroi woman Rachael McPhail launched a brilliant campaign calling on all Australians to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land, by using Aboriginal place names on their mail. 

Creating the Instagram account @place_names_in_addresses, she wrote on her very first post, “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.” 

Garnering nearly 15,000 signatures for her online petition and earning over 10,000 Instagram followers, it’s safe to say McPhail is making serious noise and thankfully Australia Post has heard her. 

As of yesterday the company has publicly acknowledged and endorsed the use of traditional name places on all post going forward. They released a statement on their official Instagram account saying, “Acknowledging the traditional custodians of this land, their ancestors, elders and the commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Australians is very important to us. That's why we've worked on how you can include Traditional Place names when sending and receiving your parcel.” 

We reckon that’s a pretty sweet way to celebrate what has already been an awesome NAIDOC Week.

How To Send Mail Using Traditional Names

First of all, to find out which country you’re sending your post to, check AIATSIS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Councils, or Cultural Centres in your local area.

According to Australia Post guidelines, when sending items you can include a Traditional Place name in either the address you’re sending from, or in the recipient’s address, or both.

For a step by step guide to ensure your post gets exactly where it needs to go, check out these super simple steps. 

Happy NAIDOC Week everyone, for more First Nations education, check out these incredible movies and TV series on Netflix, Stan and NITV

Design Credit: Dom Lonsdale

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