Using Traditional Place names on your business mail

Individuals are starting to use Traditional Place names when sending mail and now businesses are adopting the practice too. If you’d like to learn more about the best way to acknowledge Traditional Place names in your business’ incoming and outgoing mail, read on below.

Key points

  • Traditional Place names can be added to both parcels and letters.
  • They can be included in both the ‘to’ and ‘from’ fields, when sending and receiving mail.
  • Our guidelines recommend researching your Traditional Place name by engaging with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Council or Cultural Centre.

How it started

When Gomeroi woman Rachael McPhail shared her idea to allow all Australians to add Traditional Place names to their mail, it didn't take long to become reality.

Her campaign, which began on social media, resulted not only in Australia Post’s address guidelines being updated, but also sparked the re-design of 22 different Express Post and Parcel Post satchels. They now include a dedicated Traditional Place name field in the address panel and a printed Acknowledgement of Country.

It’s not just for individuals

Organisations large and small, including non-Indigenous businesses, have an opportunity to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands their business operates from.

Our guidelines recommend researching the Traditional Place name for your business HQ by engaging with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre or Land Council (these differ by State/Territory - visit the NSW Aboriginal Land Council website). You can also take a look at the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia as a guide to start learning about the Traditional Custodians that you can match to your business address.

1. Sending letters and packages - ‘from’ address

Once you’ve researched and identified the Traditional Place name for where your business operates, you can include this information in the ‘from’ field when sending out your business mail. If you have multiple sites or locations, narrow this down to where the mail is being sent from.

2. Update your customer database

Does your business collect customer or member information, including their address? Update your data entry fields to include an option for capturing Traditional Place names during this process. You may need to create a new field, or rename an existing or unused one in order to collect this info.

3. Sending letters and packages – 'to’ address

Once you’ve started capturing your customers’ Traditional Place names, you can filter this through to your mail – from labels on parcels to all addressed letters. If your users don’t already know the traditional Place name for where they live, you can recommend they conduct their own research, or look at the AIATSIS Map as a guide.

4. Where exactly should I write it?

The updated Australia Post address guidelines are easy to follow. Simply add the Traditional Place name below the individual or business name and above the first line of the street address.

5. Receiving mail

Of course, your business can also share its Traditional Place name when giving address details for all incoming mail. Include it on your website, letterhead, email signatures, or anywhere your address is listed.

Find out more, including how to add an Acknowledgement of Country on your own website.