In 2015 Australia commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the Anzac forces landing at Gallipoli.
During the Anzac centenary period (2014–18), the Victorian government conducted a commemorative naming project in partnership with naming authorities, primarily councils.
While the project has formally ended, Victorians can still acknowledge the wartime service and sacrifice of their local municipality's military service people or locals who supported Australia's military cause.
Victorians can research these people from their municipalities and provide proposals to their local councils. Councils will then decide which name proposals should be used to name or rename roads, geographical features or localities.
There is also the opportunity to:
- record the history behind the names in Victoria's register of geographic names, VICNAMES
- record in VICNAMES the history of existing roads, features or localities already named in honour of service people
Resources for researchers
Schools, historical societies, members of RSLs and interested individuals can research appropriate names (see below) and fill out the name checklist available on this website. Simply submit the checklist to your council for final approval and allocation to a given feature, road or locality. The work may result in a new name or renaming of a road, reserve or another feature. It might also be used to name a new locality. Once a name has approval from the council and is made live on the Victorian register for geographic names (VICNAMES), the history behind the name can be added to the system
What is the process?
Your first port of call should be to visit a local war memorial site, cenotaph, and/or honour board, where you will find a list of names.
Alternatively, speak with members of your local historical society. The guidance note on researching names will also provide information to help you utilise online search engines and begin the process of successfully researching an appropriate name.
Each name proposal should be documented in the name checklist template available online and submitted to council for further compliance checks.
The template details the information required for a valid commemorative name proposal, and an example of a completed template for you to follow is on the website.
Researchers are required to submit to their council a name proposal checklist.
Your council will ensure that all name proposals conform to the Naming rules for places in Victoria - 2016. The naming rules provide the basis for approving or rejecting name proposals.
When your council has confirmed the name(s) conform to the naming rules, it may begin assigning the names to new features, localities or roads, and/or consider renaming where appropriate. Community consultation is also part of the approval process. Council would also most likely seek councillor approval before any name proposals are submitted to Geographic Names Victoria (GNV).
Councils use VES – the online Vicmap Editing Service – to provide name proposals to GNV. Only registered users, like councils, can use VES.
GNV will audit the process undertaken by council before submitting the name proposal and ensure the name complies with the guidelines.
GNV will gazette and register the new name in the Victoria Government Gazette and enter the new name into the VICNAMES database. Council will be informed of the name proposal gazette date and that the information is now available online.
It is important the new name has history recorded against it and that the information provided in the name checklist to council should form part of the information provided to the VICNAMES database.
Council, or the individual, may enter the historical information into VICNAMES once the name proposal has been gazetted and registered.
What can you recognise or commemorate?
Geographic Names Victoria defines ‘Anzac’ as referring to all men and women who have served in an operational capacity in the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces or who have made a notable contribution towards the Anzac spirit. Appropriate names include:
- individual Anzacs who were born, lived or based in that Victorian locality
- other significant items of military history
- unit names, historic events and places such as former barracks sites, training camps, embarkation points, airfields, ordnance factories and shipyards.
Found a road, feature or locality already named after an Anzac?
Often there will be commemorative names that are already in use within the community. The name can still be researched and the information submitted to VICNAMES for inclusion in the register. The historical information, once approved, will be available online for future generations of Victorians.
What’s the value in taking part?
Not only will the work help commemorate service men and women and those who have displayed the Anzac spirit, your submission may result in a road, street, feature, or locality being named and historical information being recorded online for future generations.
Where do I start?
Dedicated guidance notes are available on this website that will direct you to online resources to conduct your research. You could also approach your local council, historical society or RSL for information about existing Anzac names. Often the best place to start is finding the local honour board or commemorative cenotaph which will list the names of those in your community who have served.