Those who wish to recognise and celebrate Country will now be able to do so as they send letters and parcels around the country after Australia Post launched its new packaging with a dedicated space for Traditional Place names during NAIDOC Week.
Inspired by a community movement led by Gomeroi woman Rachael McPhail, Australia Post has responded to customer feedback and plan to release the new packaging as soon as stock becomes available.
McPhail expressed her delight that Australia Post built on her idea and encouraged Australians to use Traditional Place names to improve their knowledge of Indigenous heritage.
“This is about paying respect to First Nations people, and their continuing connection to Country. If everyone adopts this small change, it will make a big difference,” McPhail said.
“We not only listened to Rachael, but to the overwhelming feedback from thousands of Australians who supported this fantastic concept to recognise traditional Country on their mail,” said Australia Post National Indigenous Manager and Noongar man Chris Heelan.
“Including the Traditional Place name as part of the mailing address is a simple but meaningful way to promote and celebrate our Indigenous communities, which is something Australia Post has a long and proud history of doing.”
The updated Parcel Post and Express Post satchels, which also include an Acknowledgement of Country, have a designated line below the recipient’s name to include a Traditional Place name above the street address and postcode.
Traditional Place names can also be used on letters, on the condition they are above the street address and postcode.
“I’ll be immensely proud, proud to be an Aboriginal man receiving a package that has my birthplace, my country, on the parcel,” Heelan told ABC News.
McPhail now has hopes of compiling a comprehensive database of Traditional Place names.
“What that entails is comprehensive and respectful consultation with First Nations people, Elders, and community leaders, all around the country,” McPhail told ABC News.
“We need to make sure we are recording and collating that information all around the country.”
By Aaron Bloch