Free teaching resource

Australian Place Name Origins – Worksheet

Teach Starter Publishing
PDF | 1 page | Years: 3 - 6

A worksheet exploring the connection of Australian place names to First Nations languages.

Discover the richness of First Nations languages by exploring the origins of some well-known Australian place names.

Ever wondered what the words Coolangatta, Parramatta or Wagga Wagga really mean?

Before the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, at least 250 languages (with at least 750 dialects) were spoken by Australia’s First Nations peoples. These Indigenous languages are reflected in the names of many towns, waterways, mountains, deserts and forests around Australia.

In this resource, students explore a variety of Asutralian place names that originate from the language spoken by the local First Nations people.

A great addition to your collection of First Nations resources

This worksheet addresses the cross-curricular  priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture. It is also perfect for NAIDOC Week.


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  • Veronica Thake

    That's correct, Kellie. Students would need to use a search engine and some carefully chosen keywords to assist them in completing this task.

  • Sonja Shuttleworth

    Hi there. Is this a research task? How are students supposed to know what the place names mean?

    • Bronwyn

      Hi Sonja! Yes, you're exactly right. Students need to look up the historical meanings of the place names and connect them. Have a great day!