Friday, 29 May 2020 Sydney

Sydney embraces its history with new naming policy::

Sydney’s most significant historical figures, events and landmarks will lend their names to new streets, parks and community facilities under a new naming policy proposed by the City of Sydney.

Sydneysiders are being asked to provide their feedback on the draft policy, which will guide the naming of suburbs, roads, open spaces and buildings owned, operated or managed by the City.

Using names that reflect Sydney’s past helps raise awareness and understanding of the city’s rich collection of events and characters.

“Names are an important navigation and reference tool – they tell us where we are, help us define places and destinations, and are part of our city’s identity,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Having effective place and street names is not just about finding your way – names are clues to understanding significant stories and act as signposts to a place’s past.

“Acknowledging people, culture and heritage through naming is a meaningful way of recognising our history, keeping it alive and making it part of everyday life.

“Many of our parks, streets and buildings already have names that are historic in nature – Sydney Park wetlands are named after the Aboriginal words for local animal species, such as ‘wirrambi’, and the new Drying Green Park in Green Square recognises the area’s former wool washing industry.

“We are also preserving and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture through dual naming and recognition of the world’s oldest living culture in public projects, events and spaces.”

The Geographical Names Board of NSW requires all places and landmarks across the state to have a name to assist with navigation and identification.

The draft policy has been prepared in line with the Board’s advice and includes 16 principles to guide the assessment of naming proposals. Suggested names should reflect their location and purpose, be easy to pronounce, spell and write, and reflect the heritage and history of local people, events, the community or landscape.

Once approved, the policy will apply to all new sites, along with existing streets, parks or open spaces that have never been formally named and require names to avoid confusion. All individual proposals will be placed on public exhibition for community feedback.

The draft policy has been prepared with the support of the City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel, and outlines how dual naming and the use of Aboriginal words for new names can be applied in the City of Sydney area.

Dual naming recognises Aboriginal cultural heritage by registering original names for places and sites given by traditional landowners so they sit alongside European names.

The City consults with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel on all Gadigal language name proposals before they are reported to Council.

Recently named public places in the City of Sydney with names inspired by history include:

  • Drying Green Park – Green Square’s central park will be a celebration of its industrial past, in particular the wool washing trade that dominated the area throughout the 19th century and at its height processed more than 800 fleeces an hour.
  • Sydney Park wetlands – four wetlands in the popular St Peters park have been given Gadigal names for local wildlife, including ‘wirrambi’ (bat), ‘guwali’ (cormorant), ‘bunmarra’ (lizard) and ‘gilbanung’ (grasshopper).
  • Juanita Nielsen Community Centre – the City’s recently refurbished community centre in Woolloomooloo is named after the well-known publisher, activist and urban conservationist whose disappearance in 1975 has never been resolved.
  • Sweetacres Park and Sweet Street – this new park and street in Rosebery are named after the Sweetacres lolly factory that opened in the area in 1922 and produced famous sweets including Minties, Jaffas and Fantales for decades.

The draft naming policy is on public exhibition until 20 March. For more information or to provide feedback, visit