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Geographical Names Board of New South Wales facts for kids

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Geographical Names Board of New South Wales
Statutory authority overview
Formed 1966
Jurisdiction New South Wales
Headquarters Panorama Avenue, Bathurst
Minister responsible
  • Hon. Greg Pearce MLC,
    Minister for Finance and Services and Minister for the Illawarra
Parent Department Land and Property Information,
Department of Finance and Services
Key document
  • Geographical Names Act, 1966

The Geographical Names Board of New South Wales is the official organization that records details of places and geographical names in New South Wales, Australia. It was set up in 1966. The Board has nine members.

Members of the Board

Four of the members (or someone who represents them) are: :

  • the Surveyor General of New South Wales who is also Chairman of the Board,
  • the Director General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure,
  • the State Librarian, and
  • an officer of the Land and Property Information division, selected by the Director General of the Department of Finance and Services

The other members are selected by:

  • the Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales,
  • the Royal Australian Historical Society,
  • the Geographical Society of New South Wales,
  • the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, and
  • the Chairperson of the Community Relations Commission.


The Geographical Names Act, 1966, gives the Board the right to name places, and to find out and decide on the form, spelling, meaning, pronunciation, origin and history of any geographical name. It also decides where and how the name can be used.

A place is any geographical or topographical feature or any district, division, locality, region, city, town, village, settlement or railway station or any other place within the territories and waters of the State of New South Wales. It does not include roads, any local government areas, urban areas, counties or districts under the Local Government Act, electoral districts, subdivisions, or schools.

The Board has the power to keep and promote Aboriginal languages and acknowledge Aboriginal culture through place naming in NSW. The Board does this by using traditional Aboriginal place names or names with Aboriginal origin wherever it can. The Board can give traditional Aboriginal names to features that have been given introduced names through its dual naming policy.

The Board's policy is the same as the U.S. Board of Geographical Names, which removes possessive names from all place names in NSW. Roads called Smith's Road are changed to Smiths Road or Smith Road.

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