Coolamon's Rachael McPhail's indigenous place names campaign taken up by Australia Post

Rachael McPhail is thrilled her campaign to have Indigenous place names included as part of mail addresses has taken off. Picture: Supplied
Rachael McPhail is thrilled her campaign to have Indigenous place names included as part of mail addresses has taken off. Picture: Supplied

A NSW Riverina resident's one-woman-mission to see First Nations place names included in postal addresses has taken off.

Rachael McPhail moved to Coolamon in 2018 and is currently studying social work at Charles Sturt University.

Throughout her classes, lecturers encourage students to broaden the way they analyse issues, a lesson Ms McPhail took to heart.

"They teach us to look at the big picture, so the way big systems impact minority groups such as First Nations groups," she said.

"I am always trying to look at decolonisation, so just looking at ways I can make my life inclusive of Indigenous Australian culture and knowledge."

The Gomeroi woman was placing an online order, and when prompted to put her address in, Ms McPhail wrote Wiradjuri Country, alongside her address.

"The parcel turned up," she said.

"So I decided to contact Australia Post about making it an option for the address section about three or four weeks ago, and they were very supportive.

"It was made public during NAIDOC Week."

Ms McPhail said support has been pouring in on social media, with many people signing the initial campaign.

But she is not done yet. Ms McPhail said she wants a database of place names to be created, so people can search their suburb to find out the traditional custodians of the land.

"In Wagga, we are so lucky to have beautiful elders, so we know that this is Wiradjuri country, but in other areas, it's not as well known as to what that area is called," she said.

READ MORE:

"The AIATSIS map [Map of Indigenous Australia] is not completely Indigenous-informed."

Ms McPhail said using the traditional place names when addressing mail is a way for allies and First Nations people can come together.

"It's a way for us to walk together," she said.

"It's also a respect thing to use the right name."

On its website, Australia Post said to ensure the correct delivery, they recommend that the traditional place name is included below the name or company name, but above the street address.

Ms McPhail is also advocating for councils to use better signage to identify the traditional place names.

This story Meet the woman who sparked a landmark Aus Post change first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.