Electoral Divisions Named for an Aboriginal person or word

Updated: 17 July 2020

Name

State or territory

Name derivation

Ballarat

Victoria

Named after the city covered by the electoral division. The name of the city is believed to be derived from the Aborignal word 'balaarat' meaning resting place or reclining on elbow.

Bennelong

NSW

Named in honour of Bennelong, 1764?–1813. Bennelong was a young Aboriginal man who was captured by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1789. He was later taken to England where he met the King.

Berowra

NSW

Named after the area in which the electoral division is located. The name 'Berowra' is believed to be an Aborginal word for 'place of many winds'.

Blair

Queensland

Named in honour of Harold Blair AM, 1924–76, the noted tenor, in recognition of his work for Aboriginal advancement and service to the arts. Mr Blair established the Aboriginal Children's Holiday Project and was a member of the the Aborigines' Welfare Board in Victoria (1957–58) and the Aborigines Advancement League, the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, and the Commonwealth Aboriginal Arts Board.

Bonner

Queensland

Named in honour of Neville Thomas Bonner AO, 1922–99, an elder of the Jagera people, in recognition of his service as a Senator for Queensland (1971–83) and leader of indigenous Australia.

Calare

NSW

Named after the Aboriginal name for the Lachlan River.

Canberra

ACT

A locality name derived from an Aboriginal word which is held to mean 'meeting place'.

Cooper

Victoria

Named in honour of William Cooper, 1861–1941. Cooper was a Yorta Yorta man who as a spokesman for Aboriginal people called for direct representation in parliament, enfranchisement, land rights and federal control of Aboriginal affairs.

Corangamite

Victoria

Named after the geographic area covered at one time by the electoral division. 'Corangamite' is believed to be derived from the Gulidjan word for 'bitter water'.

Corio

Victoria

Named after the geographic area covered by the electoral division. 'Corio' is beleved to have originated from an Aboriginal word 'coraiyo' meaning small marsupial or sandy cliffs or from the Aboriginal word 'Korayn' meaning salt.

Eden-Monaro

NSW

Named after the two areas in which the electoral division is located. The name 'Monaro' is variously believed to be:

  • derived from the Aboriginal word 'Maneroo', meaning plain, or
  • an Aboriginal word meaning 'the navel' or 'a woman's breasts'.

Indi

Victoria

Named after an Aboriginal name for the Murray River.

Jagajaga

Victoria

Named in honour of the three principal Aboriginal elders who signed a treaty with John Batman in 1835 which intended to give the white settlers 500,000 acres of land at the north-west end of Port Phillip Bay and 100,000 acres around Geelong.

Kooyong

Victoria

Named after the geographic location covered at one time by the electoral division. 'Kooyong' is believed to be an Aboriginal word for camp or resting place or possibly derived from the word 'guyun' meaning fighting spear.

Mallee

Victoria

Named after the geographic location covered by the electoral division. 'Mallee' is believe to be an Aboriginal word for dwarf eucalypts which grow in the area.

Maranoa

Queensland

Named for the district which is watered by the Maranoa River. The name 'Maranoa' is possibly a corruption of the Mandandanji words 'mara' for duck and 'ngoa' for egg.

Maribyrnong

Victoria

Named after the Maribyrnong River. The name 'Maribyrnong' is variously believed to be:

  • an Aboriginal word for 'yam' or 'edible root', or
  • derived from the Woiwaurrung word 'Mirrangbamurn', with 'mirrang' meaning eye and 'barmurn' meaning ringtail possum, or
  • from the traditional name 'Mareingalk', country belonging to the Mareinbulluc

Nicholls

Victoria

In recognition of their significant contribution in advocating for Aboriginal rights and welfare, the electoral divison is jointly named in honour of:

  • Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls MBE(C) OBE(C) KCVO, 1906–88, a Yorta Yorta, Baraparapa, Dja Dja Wurrung, Jupagalk and Wergaia man, and
  • Lady Gladys Nicholls, 1906–81, a Baraparapa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman.

Parramatta

NSW

Named after the city covered by the electoral division. The name 'Parramatta' is variously believed to be:

  • the Dharuk word for 'head of the river', or
  • derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place where the eels lie down' or 'dark jungle head of a river', or
  • derived from the name of the tribe 'Burramattagal'.

Wannon

Victoria

Named after the Wannon River. The name 'Wannon' is believed to have been obtained by Major Mitchell from the local Jardwadjali people.

Warringah

NSW

Named after the area in which the electoral division is located. 'Warringah' is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning 'sign of rain', 'across the waves' or 'sea'.

Werriwa

NSW

'Werriwa' was the Aboriginal name for Lake George, which was located in the electoral division when it was first established in 1901. The name 'Werriwa' is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning 'deep water' or 'sick crawfish'.

Note:

  1. This information is for electoral division names as at 17 July 2020.
  2. Electoral divisions named for an aboriginal word include those named for an anglicised version of an aboriginal word.      
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