Multiple Aboriginal Place Names in Western Victoria, Australia
In a recent paper on transparency versus opacity in Australian Aboriginal placenames, Michael Walsh (2002: 47) noted that in ‘Aboriginal Australia it is relatively common for a given place to have multiple names’. In providing an overview of multiple naming practices Walsh observed that he was unclear on how multiple naming works and what its function is. Other than some case studies (such as Schebeck 2002 on Flinders Ranges, South Australia and Sutton 2002 on Cape York, Queensland) we are yet to gain a comprehensive picture for Aboriginal Australia. This paper adds to this discussion through a consideration of multiple naming in western Victoria using the results of research conducted by Clark and Heydon (2002) into Victorian Aboriginal placenames. The paper also considers the policy implications of multiple indigenous naming for place name administration in the state of Victoria which is yet to accept multiple indigenous naming although it has adopted a dual naming policy that allows for the recognition of a nonindigenous and an indigenous toponym for the one place.