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.
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.
- Do you have a name suggestion for an un-named place?
- Is there a place name in the ACT you consider to be confusing or offensive? For information about changing a place name, first see our place names policies.
- Do you have further information you are able to provide about an existing place name?
- Is there a place name that you would like more information on? Remember to search names using the ACTmapi search tool first.
- Do you have a suggestion for a new suburb theme or do you wish to comment on a proposed theme?
Submit your enquiry using the Access Canberra feedback and enquiries page.
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.
- ACT Place Names Committee
- ACT Place Names Committee and Guidelines Review - June 2019
- Place name policies
- Place name processes
- Proposal for Commemoration
- Search for street and suburb names
- Street addresses
- ACT Legislation Register – Place Name Determinations
- Australian Geographic Place Names (Gazetteer)
- Australian National Placenames Survey (ANPS)
- The Geographical Names Board of New South Wales
- New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā pou Taunal Aotearoa
- Permanent Committee on Place Names
- United Nations Group of Experts on Geographic Names (UNGEGN)