Origins of electoral division names

Updated: 25 February 2016

The table lists division names that have been abolished or retired as the result of a redistribution. A set of Guidelines for naming federal electoral divisions for use in the redistribution process was adopted following recommendations from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in December 1995.

Abolished or re-named divisions
Division Date State Named after
Angas 1903–1934
1949–1977
SA George Fife Angas (1789–1879) – philanthropist and pioneer of South Australia
Australian Capital Territory 1949–1974 ACT Locality name
Balaclava 1901–1984 VIC Locality name – railway station
Barrier 1901–1922 NSW Geographic feature (Barrier Range)
Bland 1901–1906 NSW William Bland (1789–1868) doctor, politician
Bonython 1955–2003 SA Sir John Langdon Bonython 1848–1939, a Member of the first Federal Parliament 1901–1906 and proprietor of The Advertiser.
Bourke 1901–1948 VIC Sir Richard Bourke (1777–1855) eighth Governor of NSW
Burke 1968-2003 VIC Robert O'Hara Burke 1821–1861, a former Irish Policeman, who led the Victorian expedition in 1860 which attempted to cross Australia from south to north.
Canobolas 1901–1906 NSW Geographic feature (Mt Canobolas)
Charlton 1984–2016 NSW Matthew Charlton (1866–1948), Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1903–10, Member of House of Representatives 1910–28 and leader of ALP 1922–28
Coolgardie 1901–1913 WA Locality name
Corinella 1901–1906
1989–1994
VIC Locality name – after the original settlement on the Westernport Bay and derived from the local aboriginal language
Dalley 1901–1968 NSW William Bede Dalley (1831–1888) barrister, politician
Dampier 1912–1922 WA William Dampier (1651–1715) English sea explorer
Darebin 1948–1968 VIC Geographic feature (Darebin Creek)
Darling 1901–1977 NSW Sir Ralph Darling (1775–1858) – Governor of the colony of New South Wales 1825–31
Darling Downs 1901–1984 QLD Locality name of district within division
Darwin 1903–1955 TAS Geographic feature (Mt Darwin)
Diamond Valley 1968–1984 VIC Locality name of district within division
Dundas 1977–1992 NSW Locality name
East Sydney 1901–1968 NSW Locality name
Echuca 1901–1936 VIC Locality name
Evans 1948–1977 NSW George William Evans (1775–1852) – early explorer of the New South Wales interior
Fawkner 1906–1968 VIC John Pascoe Fawkner (1792–1869) pioneer, one of the founders of Melbourne
Fraser 1974–2016 ACT James Fraser 1908–70, Member of the House of Representatives for the Australian Capital Territory 1951–70.
Grampians 1901–1922 VIC Geographic feature (Grampian Mountains)
Gwydir 1901–2006 NSW Gwydir River which was discovered by Allan Cunningham in 1827 and named after Lord Gwydir. Coincidentally Gwydir is also an Aboriginal name meaning 'river with red banks'.
Hawker 1968–1992 SA The Hon CAS Hawker – former member of the House of Representatives for Wakefield
Henty 1912–1989 VIC Francis Henty – early settler in Victoria
Higinbotham 1948–1968 VIC George Higinbotham (1826–1892) politician, judge
Hoddle 1948–1955 VIC Robert Hoddle (1794–1881) surveyor, laid out plan for Melbourne
Illawarra 1901–1922 NSW Locality name
Kalgoorlie 1901–2008 WA Named after the town of Kalgoorlie where gold was discovered in 1893.
Laanecoorie 1901–1912 VIC Locality name
Lang 1901–1977 NSW John Dunmore Lang (1799–1878) – Presbyterian clergyman, politician and reformer in New South Wales
Lowe 1949–2009 NSW Named after Robert Lowe, see Lowe profile for more information
Renamed 'Reid' (22 December 2009)
Lawson 1948–1968 NSW Henry Lawson (1867–1922) poet, author
Martin 1922–1955 NSW Sir James Martin (1820–1886) politician, Chief Justice of NSW
Mernda 1901–1912 VIC Locality name
Moira 1901–1906 VIC Locality name (property)
Namadgi 1994–1997 ACT Locality name of apparent Aboriginal origin, applied to the mountainous area southwest of Canberra.
Nepean 1906–1922 NSW Geographic feature (Nepean River)
Northern Melbourne 1901–1906 VIC Locality name
Northern Territory 1922–2001 NT Named after the area in which it is located.
Prospect 1968–2009 NSW Geographic feature (Prospect reservoir), see Prospect profile for more information
Renamed 'McMahon' (22 December 2009)
Phillip 1948–1992 NSW Captain Arthur Phillip – first Governor of the colony of New South Wales
Riverina-Darling 1984–1992 NSW Geographical
Reid 1922–2009 NSW Named after Sir George Reid, see Reid profile for more information
South Sydney 1901–1934 NSW Locality name
Southern Melbourne 1901–1906 VIC Locality name
St George 1948–1992 NSW Locality name
Streeton 1984–1989 VIC Sir Arthur Streeton – original member of the Heidelberg School of Painting
Throsby 1984–2016 NSW Dr Charles Throsby (1771–1828), a local pioneer who explored the area
West Sydney 1901–1968 NSW Locality name
Wilmot 1903–1984 TAS Sir John Eardley Eardley-Wilmot (1783–1847) – Lt. Governor of Tasmania 1843–46
Wimmera 1901-1977 VIC Locality name – a variant of the aboriginal word 'woomera' meaning a 'throwing stick'
Yarra 1901–1968 VIC Geographic feature (Yarra River)