‘They have enough trouble reading normal addresses’: Australia Post is slammed for asking customers to use Aboriginal place names – with frustrated Aussies saying they should try to be on time instead
- Australia Post has given instructions on how to include traditional place names
- It said to write the traditional place name underneath the recipient’s name
- Social media users were concerned it would confuse the postal system further
Australia Post is under fire for encouraging the use of traditional Aboriginal place names when sending mail.
The postal service has updated its online address guidelines to include instructions on how to incorporate one of the 500 Indigenous place names on parcels and letters.
Australia Post asks customers to write the traditional place name underneath the recipient’s name and above the street address to ensure the mail arrives at the correct address.
But some people claimed the extra information would add further complications to the postal system and slammed the idea on Facebook.
The postal service updated its online address guidelines this week to include instructions on how to include one of the nation’s 500 traditional places names on parcels and letters (pictured, with the address crossed out for privacy reasons)
On its website, Australia Post asks customers to write the traditional place name underneath the recipient’s name and above the street address to ensure the mail arrives at the correct address (pictured)
‘Aus Post has enough trouble delivering to a regular address or PO box on time, why confuse them?’ one woman asked.
‘Hate to think what will happen with mail now. Just took 18 days for a letter to come from Charlestown to me in East Maitland. The week before Australia Post lost a registered letter I mailed, they still can’t locate it,’ another added.
‘Have enough trouble getting mail now why make it harder,’ someone else agreed.
Streams of other impassioned users incorrectly assumed Aboriginal place names would replace suburb names on address tags.
‘I had a parcel sent from Australia Post from Perth WA to Wagga Wagga NSW and it went via Germany and got ‘lost’,’ someone else wrote.
‘Can you imagine if I wrote it on there from Wajuk to Wiradjuri… Let’s not confuse them anymore.’
Australia is made up of more than 500 traditional places (pictured: map indicating the different nations)
Some people claimed the extra information would add further complications to the postal system and sledged the idea on Facebook (pictured)
HOW TO INCLUDE A TRADITIONAL PLACE NAME WHEN SENDING MAIL
1. Look up the traditional place name where the recipient lives using AIATSIS.
2. Write the recipient’s name on the top line.
3. Put the traditional place name on the next line.
4. Add the street number and name on line three.
5. Write the recipient’s state and postcode on the last line.
‘Yes sure because Aus Post has no troubles reading normal local addresses. Can you imagine how long it would take for them to decipher where Wiradjuri country is?’ another wrote.
Wiradjuri extends from the Great Dividing Range in the east of New South Wales, and is bordered by the Macquarie, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers – covering about 97,100sqkm.
But not everyone was enraged by the idea.
‘I really don’t understand how people can be upset by this?’ one person asked.
‘It’s encouraged, not enforced.’
A spokeswoman from Australia Post told Daily Mail Australia the move was created to entourage customers to ‘acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land your item is being delivered on’.
‘We have a long and proud history of promoting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and implementing measures that contribute to a lasting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.’
The postal giant asked people to check AIATSIS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Councils, or Cultural Centres to find the correct traditional place name.
It comes after more than 14,200 people signed a change.org petition, created by Rachael McPhail, to include Indigenous places on postal items.
The Gomeroi woman started adding the line to her mail before the instructions were on the Australia Post website, and said none of her packages have been lost.
Australia post said the move was created to entourage patrons to ‘acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land your item is being delivered on’ (stock image of an Australia Post employee)
‘I would love for Australia Post and the Australian Government to make the traditional place names an official part of the address information,’ she told the ABC in September.
‘Secondly, I’d love to see Aussie businesses, universities, banks, MyGov, PayPal, Star Track, Uber, etc, asking people for the traditional place name as part of the address information when people are filling in the forms or going through the online checkout.’
‘When it comes to the addressing of letters and parcels, customers are welcome to include the traditional nation name in the address,’ the Australia Post spokeswoman said.