This Place is a year-long project through which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can publish stories about place names in their region.
Do you know the meaning of the Indigenous place names where you live?
Through This Place, First Languages Australia, the ABC and hundreds of Indigenous language workers are collaborating to help you find out.
Across Australia, many places are known by their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names. But what do they mean? What's the story behind them?
From the names of towns and suburbs, to landmarks such as streets, creeks and mountains, place names are a starting point for sharing Australia's ancient history and cultures.
First Languages Australia Manager, Faith Baisden, expects the contributions to be varied, with people sharing traditional names that are not on official maps while also explaining the meaning behind well-known places.
"This Place is a wonderful opportunity to tell the stories of the land while also building a beautiful visual collection that will help everyone have a deeper understanding of the connection through the ages of people to this land." Faith said. "Contributors will use the project to celebrate places that are important to them."
Director of ABC Regional and Local, Michael Mason, said the ABC’s network of metropolitan and regional stations in 56 locations around Australia had already established strong relationships with local language centres through the radio network’s on-air identifications in language and Mother Tongue project partnerships with First Languages Australia. “We see the Place Names project as a further strengthening of these relationships as well as giving us the opportunity to build new ones,” Mr Mason said.
The ABC is calling out to Indigenous community members and film makers who are interested in working together to share 3-5 minute stories of place in their region.
Contributions can be submitted through the This Place portal.
In support of the national project, some radio stations will be producing special content. For example, ABC NSW Regional radio stations are producing a fortnightly radio segment to share This Place stories, with the first story broadcasting this week featuring Callum Clayton Dixon who is learning about his language Anaiwan language from the New England area of NSW.
Writer and historian Bruce Pascoe is one of the drivers behind First Languages Australia's national place names project, titled Nangun wruk–which means 'our earth' or 'we are of the earth' in Bidhawal, a language of the coastal Victorian and NSW border region.
"Over 60% of Australian place names are of Aboriginal origin, but most of their meanings are unknown to the public" Bruce says. "Indigenous place names hold rich information about our land, histories and cultures. Conversations about these places will increase local understanding of this country we share."