Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2550 ..
been named in the last 10 years, and whether the names of women are well represented. I have strengthened the requirement for greater diversity by approving new guidelines under the Act which provide for ‘the desirability for the totality of public place names in the ACT to be reflective of diverse cultural situations and cognisant of community sensitivities’.
I am pleased that over the past 10 years, three divisions have been named recognising notable women, that is, Lady Gertrude Denman GBE, Dame Jean Macnamara DBE and Judith Wright. In addition, the names of six public parks have been determined to recognise the contribution of women such as Judy Harris OAM, for Aboriginal health services; poet Rosemary Dobson AO, a longstanding supporter of poetry and literature in the ACT; and architect, Gene Willsford.
In relation to division names, I am advised that the Australian and New Zealand Rural and Urban Addressing Standard ASNZ4819-2011 provides that locality names (including divisions) shall not be duplicated in Australia. The names of some prominent female leaders in Australian history, including Edith Cowan and Henrietta Grenville, cannot be easily considered for the ACT as the locality names Cowan and Grenville already exist in other states.
I can confirm that the gender representation in new road names in the ACT has steadily improved over the past 10 years to approximately 40% women and 60% men. I acknowledge that it can be difficult to identify women for posthumous commemoration under some established nomenclature themes, such as ‘Defence Personnel’ in Campbell. In recent years, the committee has made sure that new division themes provide for wider opportunities to recognise women and diversity.
In Denman Prospect, the theme ‘activism and reform’ has enabled place names commemorating activists including LEontine Cooper, Muriel Matters, Nellie Martel and Nessie Skuta and a pioneer for women’s rights in the law, Joan Rosanove QC. In total the road names commemorate the names of 41 women compared to 22 men. Since 2016, leading female architects and town planners have been commemorated in Taylor, named for Florence Taylor MBE, including Margaret Feilman, Heather Sutherland and Helen Proudfoot.
During the current committee term, I am expecting new place names will be determined in Jacka (valour and community service); Kenny, named for Sister Elizabeth Kenny, (nurses and health administrators); Macnamara (science and technology) and Whitlam (arts and culture) to posthumously recognise a range of women for their significant contribution to the community.
I encourage the petitioners to nominate women for commemoration by completing the electronic ‘Proposal for Commemoration’ form available from the ACT Place Names website or by contacting the Co-chair of the ACT Place Names Advisory Committee at email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding public statues in the ACT, the ACT Government owns and manages 117 public artworks. The Commonwealth Government, private individuals and companies also own public artworks located in public spaces across the Territory. As noted by the petitioners, statues in the ACT including those in the ACT Public Art Collection do not fully reflect the diversity of our community.