News and current projects
News updates include recent events, relevant policy outcomes and any significant naming that involves the Office of Geographic Names (OGN). This page also includes the OGN’s newsletter, and project updates.
The Geographic Names Newsletter provides information to stakeholders, naming authorities and those with an interest in place naming.
VICNAMES and road name origins
You can now record the history of a road name origin in VICNAMES in the same way that the history of a place name can be recorded.
Further improvements include:
- ability to search for ANZAC-related names;
- ability to download road name origin history;
- enhancements to the Historical Information online form;
- a new Creative Commons license agreement for use of the data.
These enhancements are part of the ANZAC Commemorative Naming Project which will see roads, features and localities being named across Victoria.
Visit VICNAMES and enter a road name to add historical information.
Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 (version 2)
With the release of AS/NZS 4819:2011 Rural and urban addressing standard on 18 November 2011, the Office of Geographic Names has updated the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010, by launching Version 2. Updates include (but are not limited to):
expanded information on Principle 1(A) Language
expanded information on Principle 1(M) Consulting with the public
practical information on signage
what not to do when assiging locality boundaries
guidance for naming new estates and road types
a number of minor amendments throughout the Guidelines.
Australian Research Council, talking about place
The OGN and the University of Melbourne are representing the Committee for Geographical Names Australia (CGNA) on the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, Talking about place: tapping human knowledge to enrich national spatial data sets.
For more information go to the University of Melbourne’s Sustainable Society Institute.
Neighbourhood Safer Places
On 11 October 2012, the OGN registered approximately 200 Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSPs) as new feature names in VICNAMES, under a set of agreed naming guidelines developed for this project in conjunction with the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
NSPs are places of last resort when all other bushfire plans have failed. They are designated community areas that may provide some protection from radiant heat, the biggest killer during a bushfire. NSPs are not purpose-built, fire-proof structures; they are public spaces or buildings such as recreational reserves, roads, car parks and shopping strips.
All the NSPs that were registered in VICNAMES correspond with the gazette notice of 11 October 2012 in the Victoria Government Gazette. The attached data file lists all the registered NSPs in Victoria.
NSPs registered in Victoria .
For more information about NSPs and where they are situated, go to www.saferplaces.cfa.vic.gov.au.
Geographic Place Names Advisory Panel
The Geographic Place Names Advisory Panel is appointed under s. 12 to s. 17 of the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 and provides independent advice to the Registrar of Geographic Names and/or Minister for Environment and Climate on matters related to geographic names in Victoria. Two of the four current committees of interest are as follows:
Indigenous Names Committee – This committee’s focus is to liaise with relevant Indigenous representative bodies to consider and monitor developments in Indigenous place naming proposals in Australian jurisdictions and internationally.
Historical Names Committee – This committee was formed to foster the use of historical information on VICNAMES through specific data entry projects and promotions. It is also responsible for ensuring the suitability of historical information submitted to VICNAMES. The committee’s current prime focus is to develop information packages to involve educational facilities in using VICNAMES as an authoritative source for historical information.
Data Reconciliation Program Vicmap and VICNAMES
The OGN is undertaking a data reconciliation program with the Information Services Branch (ISB) at DEPI. The reconciliation project will identify any discrepancies in the VICNAMES and Vicmap data to ensure consistent place names, correcting spelling, correct location details and any other topographical information.
The ISB is responsible for maintaining Vicmap the basis of Victoria’s primary mapping and geographic information systems used for emergency service responses, service delivery, land management, and planning and development.
The Registrar of Geographic Names is responsible for maintaining the Victorian Register of Geographic Names, VICNAMES as specified under section 3 (1) (b) of the Geographic Place Names Act 1998.
Committee for Geographical Names of Australasia (CGNA) Educational Pack
A CGNA educational pack on all things related to place names has been developed for students and teachers. For more information about this pack go to the CGNA website.
Community Geographic Domain Names (CGDN)
Community Geographic Domain Names (CGDNs) are geographic website addresses available for licensing to every suburb and town in Australia (with the exception of capital cities). A CGDN is solely for the use of a website to benefit the local community and can include events, business and community directories, local news and general information about the community. For more information and to apply for a CGDN go to the au Community Domains website or contact Leonie Dunbar on email@example.com.