Aboriginal & Dual Names celebrated in the Northeast

North East Tasmanians are welcoming two new signs denoting Aboriginal names for rivers, and the Tasman Peninsula will soon follow.

The signs – ‘Polelewawta / Little Forester River’ on Bridport Road and ‘Leengtenner / Tomahawk River’ on Waterhouse Road – were installed by the Department of State Growth and result from the State Government’s annual calendar for Aboriginal and dual naming of geographic features.

The dual naming policy provides for the addition of Aboriginal names to existing official names of natural features or places. It also allows for the preferential assignment of Aboriginal names to previously unnamed natural features or places such as rivers and mountains.

The Tasmanian Government introduced a new dual naming policy in 2019 to provide local Aboriginal groups with more of a say on place naming.  A total of 28 Aboriginal and dual names have been assigned to date, with 15 announced in March this year, adding to seven names assigned in 2016, and six in 2013.

The 2021 list of suggested names submitted by stakeholders around Tasmania is currently being considered by the Dual Naming Reference Group. Included are names for five islands in the North East and a river in the Northern Midlands.

TRACA Co-Chair Aunty Patsy Cameron has highlighted the importance of engaging landowners, neighbours, and government departments in names being proposed for certain areas.

She says, “It is important to engage because until the new policy was introduced only one organisation was empowered to do research and name Country. Now the new policy allows for all communities and individuals to propose Aboriginal and/or dual names. Everyone now has a voice.”

For the 2021 round, the Dual Naming Reference Group will provide its report to the Place Names Advisory panel by end September, with recommendations presented to Minister Jacquie Petrusma by end December 2021.

TRACA is urging all communities, organisations and individuals to do research now and prepare names for the 2022 dual naming round.

Further info:

– DPIPWE Aboriginal and Dual Naming

Map of Aboriginal and dual names


– For assistance with pronunciation:

Polelewawta / Little Forester River – pron. poh ele wa u ta

Leengtenner / Tomahawk River – pron. lein g tena


Aboriginal and dual names assigned on 26 March, 2021

Kaninerwidic – the inner island of The Doughboys (pron. ka nina widic)

Karrernootong – the outer island of The Doughboys (pron. kara nu tong)

Koindrim / The Doughboys – dual name (pron. koin drim)

Kennaook / Cape Grim – dual name (pron. ken nah ook)

Konewongener / Mount Horror – dual name (pron. kgona wongk una)

Leengtenner / Tomahawk River – dual name (pron. lein g tena)

Luemerrernanner / Cape Portland – dual name (pron. lu ah merer nana)

Polelewawta / Little Forester River – dual name (pron. poh ele wa u ta)

Poonerluttener / Mount Cameron – dual name (pron. puna lu tena)

Tangumrounpeender / Waterhouse Point – dual name (pron. than gum rowun peen da)

Taneneryouer – replacement name for Suicide Bay (pron. tarn nena oower)

Temdudheker / Woolnorth Point – dual name (pron. tem u hakar)

Teralina / Eaglehawk Neck – dual name (pron. tera leena)

Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula – dual name (pron. turu kunna)

Tebrakunna – the Cape Portland area (pron. the bpra kg oona)