Place names

Naming our places

The ACT's suburb, street and place names are a tribute to Australia’s remarkable people, its geography, heritage and history.

Some of the people commemorated were well known, while others were quiet achievers. Our Indigenous heritage, our national treasures and wonderful stories are drawn together and reflected in the national capital's place names.

Canberra's place names are historic

In 1927 a committee was set up to name the streets and suburbs of Australia's new capital city. The National Memorials Committee proposed that street names in Canberra's suburbs follow a theme. That policy (one of the oldest in the ACT) is still in place.

Today, ACT Place Names, in consultation with the ACT Place Names Committee, undertakes research for new place names in accordance with the Public Place Names Act 1989.

Help us choose a place name

Public nominations to commemorate the names of notable Australians, places, flora, fauna or things important to the history of Australia are welcome. Simply fill in the Proposal for Commemoration form.

You can also suggest categories for naming themes for new suburbs, comment on a proposed theme or just tell us what you think via the Access Canberra feedback and enquiries page.

When naming places after people, the Public Place Names Guidelines advise that they must have been deceased for at least a year before their name can be determined as a place name.

It is also important the new place name is not the same as an existing road name, similar in spelling to an existing road name or similar in sound to an existing road name.

You can use the search tool on ACTmapi to check for place names that are already in use.

Once a name is chosen what happens next?

Once a place name is endorsed by the ACT Place Names Committee, and approved by the Minister or their delegate it is notified on the ACT Legislation Register and tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly for six sitting days in accordance with statutory requirements.

ACT Place Names supports the use of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander words in place naming. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people.

Provide feedback

Submit your enquiry using the Access Canberra feedback and enquiries page.

More information

The ACTmapi search tool helps you research names by providing information on the origin and significance of ACT place names and can be used to check if the name you are proposing has already been used.

See also

Related links

For more information visit our YourSay page, email or phone 02 6205 0057.