Have you ever wondered how your street got its name? even seemingly normal street names such as ‘friendship’ or ‘harriet’ come with surprising meanings.
First – the important things. How is a street (or bridge, or park, or rotunda, etc) named?

1. A naming application is submitted to Council’s Planning and Development Department.

2. Each name is checked to make sure it is appropriate. A duplication search is done for nearby suburbs. Names that are complicated, hard to spell or pronounce are avoided, as the priority is ensuring emergency services can be quickly directed to an address.

3. A naming report is prepared and once approved, a letter is sent to the applicant with the street name so they can have signs made.

4. The new street names are also provided to emergency services and service providers such as Telstra, Energex, Queensland Urban Utilities.

But… Estate names are adopted by developers as part of their sales and marketing. It’s important for homeowners to refer to their suburb, rather than their estate, especially for deliveries and emergency services. Council’s approvals require that where an estate name is published on advertising or other material, that the suburb name is also present.

Where it all began

On September 20, 1897 a Works Committee was deemed responsible for naming streets in Ipswich. By 1905 a number had been named – some after Statesmen of England to ‘show their loyalty to the Crown’, others after Governor-Generals, State Governors and ex-Mayors of Ipswich.

We’ve been saying it wrong:

Mihi is latin for ‘to me’ – and is actually pronounced “mee-hee”.

Chuwar, originating from an Aboriginal name, is said to be pronounced “chew-war”, with the last syllable as in ‘war’, a military event.

Road naming on track

There were too many unnamed roads, particularly in rural parts of Ipswich, and a program was started to name them for easy location by emergency services, deliveries and visitors. Up to 50 roads have been recently identified and named to date.

The price of change:

Don’t like your street name? You’re probably stuck with it.

It can end up being costly and complicated for residents to change a street name as everything from land titles and mortgages, through to all billing details, have to be changed.

Keeping up with the Joseys

Springfield Lakes residents may be part of the tribute to this pioneer family – 150 years later – and not realise it.

James Josey came to these shores a convict, and became the “father” of Redbank Plains. He died a successful sawmiller and landowner – reported to be the owner of 350 acres of the best farming land at Redbank Plains, 7000 acres at O’Possum  Creek, and had eight daughters and five sons.

James Josey Avenue is a giveaway – but did you know Aldworth Place was named after his birthplace, Eden Crescent is named after the Josey homestead, and Ellen Circuit, Eve Court and Jessie Street are named after his children.

Harriet Court is tribute to Josey’s wife, daughter and mother-in-law (all named Harriet!), while St John Place is after the church where Josey and Harriet were married. On the other side of the Centenary Highway in Springfield, Bullocky Place is a tribute to bullock teams owned by the Joseys that worked in the area.

(Images courtesy of Ipswich Libraries and Picture Ipswich)

Variations on a theme

Some Wulkuraka neighbourhoods have lofty ambitions, with street names based on high-end designer brands (Chanel, Armani, Dior, Cardin) and legends of mythology (Ceres, Jupiter, Hermes and Nike – not the shoes).

The first fleets to arrive on Australia’s shores inspired a Brassall neighbourhood, with ship names including Neptune, Supply, Atlantic, Surprize, Borrowdale, Friendship and Barwell.

Augustine Heights has a distinctly Catholic feel, with street names such as Livinus, Faustina, Cornelius, Brigid, Romulus, Isidore, Valentine and more.

Eastern Heights residents of Abbey, Marvin, Rex and Vivian streets may not realise the names are in honour of race-winning horses owned by Henry Smart Cribb, with the streets part of the former Cribb estate.

Be streets ahead with Ipswich First