Jacquie Petrusma,Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to resetting our relationship with Aboriginal communities in Tasmania, and today we are taking a major step to increase recognition of the more than 40,000 years of Tasmanian Aboriginal history, culture and language through a revised Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy.
Acknowledging Aboriginal names for geographical features and places helps in the wider preservation of Aboriginal heritage, and is an important process in reconciliation through broadening the community’s understanding of Aboriginal history and culture in Tasmania.
Based on previous consultations with a number of Tasmanian Aboriginal people who felt they were unfairly excluded from contributing to and proposing Aboriginal names under the previous Policy, a widely-consulted review has been undertaken over the past two years, in which all Tasmanian Aboriginal people were invited to be involved.
There was also a consistent view that any revised policy should be expanded to allow more parties to nominate an Aboriginal or dual name, as well as consideration and use of other Tasmanian Aboriginal languages.
The revised policy includes:
- giving Aboriginal names to geographic features or places that do not already have an official or assigned name;
- ensuring there is a provision on replacing existing place names that are racially or historically offensive to Aboriginal communities;
- giving an additional Aboriginal name to a feature that already has an official name (dual naming).
The dual naming of a place or feature means that both names will have the same status and recognise the important Aboriginal and European history and connection to a place.
This revised policy also ensures all Aboriginal communities are able to have a say about place name nomination in their area.
Assigning Aboriginal and dual names is an important way to progress reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Tasmanians, and the Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to broadening the community’s understanding of the rich Aboriginal history in Tasmania.