Place name search

Canberra's suburb and street names present an interesting mosaic of Australia's local and national high achievers, its geography, heritage and history. Some of the people commemorated are well known, whilst others made their mark as quiet achievers. Our Indigenous heritage, Australian geography and history are all drawn together and reflected in the National Capital's place names.

In 1927, the Canberra National Memorials Committee, in a report to the Federal Parliament on the Naming of Canberra's Streets and Suburbs, proposed that street names in Canberra's suburbs follow a theme. This policy (one of the oldest in the ACT) has been followed to this day.

Using the search tool on ACTmapi, you can find information about the origin and significance of commemorated place names in the ACT, including names representing Australian flora and fauna, writers, artists, scientists and words from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander vocabulary.

ACT divisions (suburbs) and their themes

Nearly every suburb in the ACT has a theme by which its streets are named. The theme may include people, places, flora, fauna or things relevant and important to the history of Australia.

ACTON Acton, a town in Denbighshire, UK. The name given to the locality by Lieutenant Arthur Jeffreys, RN in 1843. Named before individual themes were adopted.
AINSLIE James Ainslie (1787–1844). First overseer of 'Duntroon Station'. Pioneers, legislators.
AMAROO Aboriginal language. An Aboriginal word translating in English as ‘beautiful place’. Australian rivers and lakes.
ARANDA Aboriginal cultural group. Name of an Aboriginal cultural group of Central Australia, also known as Arunta. Names of Aboriginal cultural groups.
BANKS Sir Joseph Banks Bart KCB PC(1743–1820). Botanist. Botanists, things botanical or relating to natural history.
BARTON Right Honourable Sir Edmund Barton,
PC GCMG KC (1849–1920).
Australia's first Prime Minister, 1901–1903. Governors.
BEARD Timothy Beard (1763–1848). Ex-convict who settled by Molonglo River in 1828 on property he named Quinbean. Australian geological resources.
BELCONNEN ‘Belconnen’. Name associated with the locality since the days of the early settlers. Lord mayors and mayors.
BONNER Neville Thomas Bonner AO(19221–999). First Aboriginal person elected to Federal Parliament. Indigenous leaders and their supporters.
BONYTHON Sir John Langdon Bonython CMG KCMG (1848–1939). Newspaper owner, politician and philanthropist. Notable South Australians, particularly journalists, and South Australian place names.
BRADDON Sir Edward Braddon PC KCMG (1829–1904). Premier of Tasmania 1894–1899. Legislator, federalist and one of the founders of the Constitution. Aboriginal words; legislators and pioneers.
BRUCE Viscount Bruce of Melbourne PC, CH, MC. (1883–1967). Prime Minister 1923–1929. Australian tertiary education.
CALWELL Rt Hon Arthur Calwell PC (1896–1973). Leader of the Opposition 1960–1967. Victorian politicians.
CAMPBELL Robert Campbell (1769–1884). Pioneer of Canberra. Defence personnel.
CANBERRA AIRPORT Canberra Airport. Canberra Airport site. Roads named by Canberra Airport and the Commonwealth.
CAPITAL HILL Capital Hill. Symbolising Canberra as the capital of Australia. Monarchs and constitutional references.
CASEY Lord Richard Gardiner Casey (1890–1976). Governor General of Australia 1965–1969. Diplomats, public servants and administrators.
CHAPMAN Sir Austin Chapman, KCMG (1864–1926). Minister for Defence 1903–1904. Australian film industry.
CHARNWOOD Homestead name. The name of a former homestead in the Belconnen District. NSW pioneers.
CHIFLEY Joseph Chifley PC (1885–1951). Prime Minister 1945–1949. Scientists and educationalists.
CHISHOLM Caroline Chisholm (1808–1877). Philanthropist and social worker. Notable women.
CITY City. Commercial centre of Canberra. Aboriginal words; pioneers and capital cities.
CONDER Charles Conder (1868–1909). Painter. Members of the Heidelberg School; towns associated with the Heidelberg School; directors and trustees of state and national galleries, patrons and benefactors and other artists.
COOK Captain James Cook, RN (1728–1779).
The Rt Hon. Joseph Cook GCMG (1860–1947).
Captain James Cook, RN Navigator. The Rt Hon.
Joseph Cook GCMG, Prime Minister, 1913–1914.
Notable women.
COOMBS Dr Herbert Cole ‘Nugget’ Coombs (1906–1997). One of Australia's most outstanding and influential public servants. Notable public service.
CRACE Edward Kendall Crace (1844–1892). Early European settler in the Gungahlin district. Parishes and land divisions.
CURTIN John Joseph Curtin (1885–1945). Prime Minister 1941–1945. State Premiers.
DEAKIN Alfred Deakin (1856–1919). Prime Minister, three terms. Governors and Governors-General and diplomats.
DENMAN PROSPECT Lady Gertrude Mary (Trudie) Denman GBE (1884–1954).
Lord Thomas Denman GCMG KCVO PC (1874–1954).
On 12 March 1913 Lady Denman pronounced, “I name the capital of Australia – Canberra” Governor-General of Australia, 1911–1914. Activism and reform.
DICKSON Sir James Dickson, KCMG (1832–1901). Premier of Queensland 1898–1899, Founder of the Constitution. No specific theme.
DOWNER Sir John Downer (1844–1915). Premier of South Australia. No specific theme.
DUFFY Sir Charles Duffy, KCMG (1816–1903). Prominent Federalist. Australian dams and reservoirs.
DUNLOP Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop AC CMG OBE (1907–1993). Doctor and war hero. Inventors and inventions; artists.
EVATT Herbert Evatt (1894–1965). NSW MLA, Justice of the High Court of Australia; MHR, Deputy Prime Minister. Legal profession.
FADDEN Rt Hon Sir Arthur Fadden, PC, GC, MG (1897–1973). Prime Minister 29 August to 7 October 1941. Queensland politicians.
FARRER William Farrer (1845–1906). Pioneer of scientific wheat-breeding. Agriculturalists.
FISHER Andrew Fisher PC (1862–928). Prime Minister three times. Australian mines and mining towns.
FLOREY Professor Sir Howard Walter (Baron) Florey OM (1898–1968). Scientist; shared Nobel Prize for work in Penicillin. Scientists.
FLYNN John Flynn OBE (1880–1951). John Flynn, OBE (1880–1951) Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. Flying doctor service and inland missions.
FORDE Francis Michael Forde (1980–1983). Deputy Prime Minister; Prime Minister 6–13 July 1945. Community service.
FORREST Rt Hon John Forrest, PC, GCMG, LLD (1847–1918).
Alexander Forrest CMG (1849–1901).
Legislator, Federalist, and one of the Founders of the Constitution, Premier of Western Australia. Legislator, surveyor, explorer. Explorers and governors.
FRANKLIN Stella Maria Franklin (1879–1954). Novelist known as Miles Franklin. Writers, particularly women.
FRASER James Fraser (1908–1970). Member of the ACT Advisory Council 1949–1951, Member of the House of representatives for Canberra 1951–1970. Early ACT residents.
FYSHWICK Hon Sir Philip Fysh, KCMG (1835–1919). Hon Sir Philip Fysh, KCMG (1835–1919) Legislator, Federalist and one of the Founders of the Constitution; Premier of Tasmania. Industrial towns.
GARRAN Sir Robert Garran, GCMG (1867–1957). Prominent in the campaign for Federation. Writers.
GILMORE Dame Mary Gilmore, DBE (1865–1962). Writer. Journalists, particularly women.
GIRALANG From the language of the Wiradjuri cultural group. From the language of the Wiradjuri cultural group of the central west of New South Wales, translating in English to mean ‘star’. Aboriginal words for stars, astronomers and constellations seen from the southern hemisphere.
GORDON Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833–1870). Poet and horseman. Sportsmen and sportswomen.
GOWRIE Earl of Gowrie (Brigadier-General Alexander), VC, PC, GCMG, CB, KG, St.J, DSO (1872–1955). Governor of South Australia 1928–1934; Governor of New South Wales 1935–1936; Governor-General 1936–1944. Armed service personnel.
GREENWAY Francis Howard Greenway (1777–1837). Colonial architect. Architects.
GRIFFITH Sir Samuel Griffith, MA, PC, GCMG (1845–1920). Premier of Queensland. Explorers.
GUNGAHLIN Gungahlin Homestead. Gungahlin Homestead, built in 1862; sold to Edward Kendall Crace in 1877 and remained in the Crace family until it was resumed by the Commonwealth for the Federal Territory. Industrialists, aspects of industry, and Gungahlin district pioneers.
HACKETT Sir John Winthrop Hackett (1848–1916). Legislator; Editor of the West Australian newspaper and public benefactor. Mainly scientists.
HALL Henry Hall (c1802–1880). Pioneer of the Canberra region. No specific theme.
HARRISON Peter Harrison (1918–1990). Chief Planner of the National Capital Development Commission. Natural geographic features of Australia.
HAWKER Charles Allan Seymour Hawker (1894–1938). Soldier, pastoralist and politician. NT pastoral stations.
HIGGINS Henry Bournes Higgins (1851–1929). Politician, Justice of High Court 1906–1929. Judges.
HOLDER Sir Frederick William Holder, KCMG (1850–1909). Member of the House of Assembly, South Australia. Surveyors.
HOLT Harold Edward Holt, CH (1908–1967). Prime Minister 1966–1967. Sportsmen and sportswomen.
HUGHES William Morris Hughes (1864–1952). Prime Minister, 1915–1916; 1916–1917; 1917–1923. World War I armed services personnel and contemporaries of William Hughes.
HUME Hamilton Hume (1797–1873). Explorer. Industry and business.
ISAACS Sir Isaac (Alfred) Isaacs, PC GCB GCMG (1855–1948). Member, Legislative Assembly Victoria 1892–1901; Governor-General. Educationalists.
ISABELLA PLAINS Sir Isaac (Alfred) Isaacs, PC GCB GCMG (1855–1948). Daughter of Sir Thomas Brisbane, Governor of New South Wales 1821–25. Named by explorers. NSW parish names.
JACKA Albert Jacka VC MC & Bar (1893–1932). Soldier and mayor. Valour and community service.
KALEEN From the language of the Wiradjuri cultural group. From the language of the Wiradjuri cultural group of the central-west of New South Wales, translating in English to mean 'water'. Australian rivers.
KAMBAH Kambah Homestead. Kambah Homestead. Interstate pioneers, theme in Gleneagles estate is Australian golfers and golf courses.
KENNY Elizabeth Kenny (1886–1952). Nurse. Nurses and health administrators.
KINGSTON Right Honourable Charles Cameron Kingston, KC (1850–1908). Premier South Australia 1893–1899; represented South Australia at the Federal Council Meeting 1889. Explorers, local pioneers and Australian flora.
LATHAM Sir John Greig Latham, PC, GCMG (1877–1964). Accompanied Prime Minister William Hughes to London to attend the Peace Conference 1919; Attorney-General 1925–1929; Leader of the Opposition 1929–1931. Judges.
LAWSON Henry Lawson (1867–1922). Henry Lawson’s Australia. Henry Lawson’s Australia.
LYNEHAM Sir William Lyne, KCMG (1844–1933). Legislator; Premier of New South Wales, Federalist and one of the Founders of the Constitution. Mainly artists and people associated with the development of early Canberra.
LYONS Joseph Aloysius Lyons, PC CH (1879–1939). Prime Minister 1932–1939. Tasmanian towns and place names.
MACARTHUR John Macarthur (1767–1834). Army officer and pastoralist. Names associated with the wool industry.
MACGREGOR Sir William Macgregor, PC GCMG CB (1846–1919). Governor of Queensland. Medical profession.
MACNAMARA Dame Annie Jean Macnamara DBE (1899–1968). Medical scientist; significant contribution to the study of poliomyelitis (and the health and welfare of children) and the introduction of myxomatosis; passionate about Australia’s rural heritage. Science and technology.
MACQUARIE Governor Lachlan Macquarie (1762–1824). Governor of New South Wales. Contemporaries of Governor Macquarie.
McKELLAR Gerald Colin McKellar (1903–1970). Member of the Senate, 1958–1970. Journalists.
MAWSON Sir Douglas Mawson, OBE (1882–1958). Antarctic explorer. Antarctic exploration.
MELBA Dame Nellie Melba, GBE (1861–1931). World famous coloratura soprano. Musicians.
MITCHELL Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792–1855). Explorer & Surveyor-General. Industrialists.
MOLONGLO Molonglo. Associated with the locality; the word Molonglo has cultural and heritage significance in this locality. Ornithology (Birds).
MONASH General Sir John Monash, GCMG KCB UD (1865–1931). Outstanding Australian Army Commander of World War I; distinguished engineer and scholar. Engineers.
MONCRIEFF Gladys Moncrieff (1892–1976). Star of musical comedies and operettas. Musicians and those associated with the field of music.
NARRABUNDAH Aboriginal place name. An Aboriginal place name, having a meaning in English of 'small hawk', associated with the locality since the days of the early settlers. Indigenous names; explorers and pioneers.
NGUNNAWAL Name of a local Aboriginal cultural group. Name of a local Aboriginal cultural group. Notable Aboriginal people and Aboriginal words.
NICHOLLS Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls KCVO OBE (1906–1988). Prominent Aboriginal leader, Governor of South Australia, footballer, pastor, activist. Sportsmen and sportswomen; theme for pond side Promenade estate is Australian fauna.
OAKS ESTATE The Oaks. The name Oaks Estate is derived from ‘The Oaks’, originally part of a land grant made to Robert Campbell in 1837. No specific theme.
O’CONNOR Richard Edward O'Connor, QC (1851–1912). Legislator, federalist and one of the founders of the Constitution.  Senator and High Court Judge. Australian flora, legislators, pioneers, explorers.
O’MALLEY King O'Malley (c1854–1953). Member of House of Assembly, SA 1896–1899, Federal Minister for Home Affairs when Canberra was named in 1913. Aboriginal words.
OXLEY John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (1783–1828). Explorer and surveyor. Social reformers.
PAGE Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page PC GCMG CH (1880–1961). Prime Minister for 19 days in 1939. Scientists.
PALMERSTON George Thomas Palmer (1784–1854). European landholder in the Gungahlin district. Mountains of Australia.
PARKES Sir Henry Parkes (1815–1896). Premier of NSW five times, legislator, federalist and one of the founders of the Constitution. Monarchs and constitutional references.
PEARCE Sir George (Foster) Pearce PC KCVO (1870–1952). Western Australian Member of Senate 1901–1938; Minister for Defence. Contemporaries of Sir George Pearce.
PHILLIP Arthur Phillip, RN (Captain, afterwards Admiral) (1738–1814). Landed First Fleet at Sydney Cove in Port Jackson. First Governor of NSW. Names associated with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Fleets; theme for the streets in the area of Swinger Hill is architects.
PIALLIGO Aboriginal place name associated with the foundation European settlement in Canberra. Aboriginal place name associated with the foundation European settlement in Canberra. The name first appeared on Surveyor Robert Dixon's map of 1829. Aboriginal words.
RED HILL Name associated with the geographical feature. Name associated with the hill since the time of the early settlers, probably suggested by the red soil of the area. Ships and explorers.
REID Right Honourable Sir George Reid, PC GCB GCMB KC (1845–1918). Prime Minister 1904–1905 (321 days). Aboriginal words.
RICHARDSON Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson) (1870–1946). Novelist. Notable women, particularly writers.
RIVETT Sir (Albert Cherbury) David Rivett KCMG (1885–1961). Rhodes Scholar 1907; Professor of Chemistry. Australian flora.
RUSSELL Russell. Name associated with the locality for many years; the name was given to an adjacent trigonometrical station by Surveyor Scrivener in c. 1910. Armed services personnel.
SCULLIN James Henry Scullin, PC (1876–1953). Prime Minister 1929–1932. Aviators.
SPENCE William Guthrie Spence (1846–1926). Trade union leader and Labor Minister. Trade unionists.
STIRLING Sir James Stirling (1791–1865). First Governor of Western Australia. WA pioneers.
STRATHNAIRN Property name associated with the locality. Property name associated with the locality. Primary industry and regional service.
SYMONSTON Honourable Sir Josiah Symon, KCMG KC (1846–1934). Legislator, federalist and one of the founders of the Constitution. Industry and business.
TAYLOR Florence Mary Taylor, OBE (1879–1969). Australia's first woman architect. Architecture, town planning and urban design.
THARWA Name of Aboriginal origin. Tharwa, name of Aboriginal origin, associated with the district since the early days of European settlement. Tharwa was an Aboriginal name for Mount Tennent. No specific theme.
THEODORE Honourable Edward Granville Theodore (1884–1950). Member of Parliament and businessman, Premier of Queensland 1919–1925. Civilian war effort during WWI and WWII.
THROSBY Charles Throsby (1777–1828). Ship’s surgeon, settler and explorer. Native fauna.
TORRENS Sir Robert (Richard) Torrens (1814–1884). Member Legislative Council South Australia. Contemporaries of Sir Robert Torrens; SA pioneers and politicians.
TURNER Rt Hon Sir George Turner PC KCMG LLD (1851–1916). Victorian Premier, legislator, federalist and one of the founders of the Constitution. Mainly writers, pioneers and legislators.
URIARRA VILLAGE Uriarra Forestry Settlement. The Uriarra Forestry Settlement was established in this location in 1928 to permanently house forestry workers on site, reflecting their dual role as forestry workers and also as fire surveillance officers. Names associated with the Uriarra community.
WANNIASSA Wanniassa estate. Wanniassa estate of Colonel Macquoid in Tuggeranong district of the ACT was named after a former Indonesian village where Macquoid had lived. Victorian state politicians.
WARAMANGA Commemorates the Warumungu Aboriginal people. The Warumungu Aboriginal people in the Tennant Creek district of the Northern Territory; also known as Warramunga. Names of Aboriginal cultural groups.
WATSON Hon John Christian Watson (1867–1941). Prime Minister 1904–1904 (113 days). Judges and members of the legal. profession
WEETANGERA Name associated with the locality since the days of the early European settlers. Name associated with the locality since the days of the early European settlers, and the name of the parish in this vicinity prior to the creation of the Australian Capital Territory. ACT pioneers.
WESTON Weston Homestead. The name of a former homestead established by Captain Edward Nicholas Weston. Weston was granted land in this area at the ‘Yarrow-Lumla plains’ in 1831. Artists.
WHITLAM The Hon. Gough Whitlam AC QC (1916–2014). 21st Prime Minister of Australia, 5 December 1972 to 11 November 1975. Arts and culture.
WRIGHT Judith Arundell Wright (1915–2000). Australian poet, critic and writer. A committed environmentalist and a lifelong fighter for Aboriginal rights and social justice. Environment, poets and butterflies.
YARRALUMLA Name associated with the locality. Name associated with the locality. The name is from the local Aboriginal language and is believed to translate to 'echo' in the English language. Governors and botanists.