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(AUSTRALIA) JUST IN: Citizens will now be prompted to include traditional place names when addressing letters and parcels after a community campaign #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.08: The new Australia Post packaging will include a dedicated spot where customers can choose to include the First Nation country, just above the street address on a letter or parcel.

Australia Post & Packaging Report: Launches new parcels marking traditional place names and it will be phased in as stock becomes available, as part of NAIDOC week.

A sample Australia Post bag showing where the Aboriginal place name will go on the label.
Australians will be prompted to include traditional place names when addressing letters and parcels from July 2021, after a community campaign.(ABC News: Margaret Paul)

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.

Rachael McPhail
Rachael McPhail has been campaigning for traditional place names to be used.(ABC News: Lauren Pezet)

“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.

She said the next step was compiling a comprehensive database of all traditional place names, so people could easily work out where to send their mail.

She said that would require a national, collaborative effort.

“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.”

Ms McPhail is collecting photos of traditional place names in addresses on things like drivers licences and parcels on social media, as part of her broader campaign on social media, to increase awareness.

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.”

He said he was looking forward to receiving a parcel on Wurundjeri land, from his family in Noongar country, in Western Australia.

“I’ll be immensely proud, proud to be an Aboriginal man receiving a package that has my birthplace, my country, on the parcel,” he said.

A man stands in front of a post box.
Australia Post national Indigenous manager Chris Heelan is happy about the introduction of a new spot on letters and parcels to include the traditional place name.(ABC News: Margaret Paul)

The parcels also include an acknowledgment of country.

Some businesses are already including traditional place names.

Clothing the Gaps is an Aboriginal-owned and led social enterprise on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne’s north, which asks its customers for the traditional place name when they make an online order.

“Just like our customers tell us what street name and suburb they live on, they can also tell us what traditional place name which is awesome,” company co-founder Sarah Sheridan said.

“It’s an opportunity to reflect and to share the traditional country that they’re living on.”

A letter with postage stamp and writing
Ms McPhail hasn’t experienced difficulties with items arriving when sent to Wiradjuri country.(Supplied: Rachael McPhail )

The enterprise made the change about a year ago, and Ms Sheridan said it has been well received by staff and customers.

“People love being able to tell us what country they’re ordering from,” she said.

“And we love getting to see that our parcels get to travel from Wurundjeri country across many countries, right around the nation.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.08: 2021:

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