National:

Research Friends
Placenames Australia Award



State based initiatives:

VicNames Historical Information Project
Murray Chapman Award



Research Friends

It is an enormous task to undertake the study of all the placenames in Australia and the project will certainly not succeed without the combined efforts of many people. As a result the ANPS is inviting members of the public to become volunteer Research Friends of the ANPS. The survey hopes that much of the research information about Introduced placenames will be collected by interested individuals and members of historical societies all over Australia. Indeed, the survey frequently finds that many of the truly interesting and valuable toponymic discoveries are dug up by amateur enthusiasts or local history researchers who come across a reference in a diary, letter or a newspaper article that would otherwise never been discovered.

Research into Indigenous placenames requires special knowledge and linguistic expertise so information about Indigenous placenames will be collected by Indigenous and non-Indigenous linguists, ethnologists and other specialists in conjunction with Indigenous communities, speakers of Australian languages and their descendents. Even though the Survey does not at this stage include Indigenous placenaming networks in its Database, ANPS is forging links with researchers and community organisations involved language and cultural work in order to support research into Indigenous placenames.

Our Technical Paper No 4 is a useful introduction to the research principles that form the basis of the Survey. If you are interested in being involved in data collection and entry, please contact Research Co-ordinators Rafe Benli (if you are researching placenames in Victoria), or Michele Lang (if you are researching placenames in Queensland), or David Blair (for the rest of Australia).

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Placenames Australia Award

The Placenames Australia Award for Research in Australian Toponymy was offered for the first time in 2011. The annual Award is intended to encourage original research in the field of Australian placenames, and has a value of $1000.

The 2011 Award was offered for papers of up to 5000 words, not previously published or accepted for publication. The winner was Dr Joshua Nash of the University of Adelaide. His paper, ‘An Island A Part: Pristine place-naming on Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australia’, was declared by the judges to be an outstanding contribution to the study of South Australian toponymy.

The 2012 and 2013 Awards were offered to support placename research by a History Society or other community organisation. The conditions of the Award specified that entries should be proposals by such a group for original research into the placenames of their area of interest. Applications were required to state the nature and location of the project and outline the method for completing data collection and processing. Proposals were required to indicate intended completion within 12 months of the granting of the award. (Projects on road and street names were not eligible for this Award.)

The 2012 Placenames Australia Award was won by Hornsby Shire Historical Society in NSW, for its research proposal 'Bridging the Gap: Rural Hornsby Grows into Hornsby Shire (1886-1906)'.

The 2013 Placenames Australia Award was won by Port Macquarie Historical Society in NSW, for a proposed project entitled 'The Origin and Meaning of Names of Significant Estates Established During the First Decade of Free Settlement in the Port Macquarie and Hastings Region (1830-1840)'.

The schedule and the nature of the Award for future years is currently under consideration.

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VicNames Historical Information Project

The VicNames Historical Information Project is an initiative of the Registrar of Geographic Names in Victoria to collect historical information on that State's placenames. Its methodology is based on ANPS research principles, and the project is part of the Survey's national program.

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The Murray Chapman Award

The Murray Chapman Award for research into Aboriginal placenames is sponsored by the NSW Geographical Names Board. It honours the memory of Murray Chapman, a Yuwalaraay man who was a member of the Board and a champion of Aboriginal languages. Researchers are invited annually to submit papers, not previously published or accepted for publication. The Board seeks contributions which add to the knowledge base of Aboriginal placenames in NSW.

The Award for 2012
The 2012 Award was won by Dr David Nash for his paper 'Comitative placenames in Central New South Wales'.

The Award for 2013
The 2013 Award was shared: the two winning entries were:
Dr David Nash, for his paper 'Bulga, Nyrang and other pidgin placenames of NSW'.
Dr Jim Wafer, for his paper 'Ourinbah and the polysemy of "ourin" '.

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