School operations

School and Campus Naming

Naming an existing school building or school space

The naming of existing school buildings or school spaces is optional. Schools may name an existing school building or a school space where they consider the naming would be beneficial to the school community.

Existing school buildings are buildings that are not a new school building funded by the Victorian Government.

School spaces include, but are not limited to rooms, classrooms and gardens.

Policy requirements

Policy applicable to the naming of existing school buildings or school spaces is outlined in the Policy tab including that:

  • existing school buildings and school spaces may be named with an Aboriginal language name or other non-Aboriginal name, or a commemorative name of a deceased person
  • names of commercial businesses and not-for-profit organisations must not be used
  • policy applicable to the commemorative naming of a deceased person for an existing building or school space is outlined in the Policy tab.

Funding of expenses

The school council is responsible for costs associated with these naming processes, and may fund expenses from capital works funding if applicable. Typical costs include the requesting of Aboriginal language names from Traditional Owner groups and signage.

Initial phase and shortlisting

The naming of existing school buildings and school spaces is a local process run by the school.

Schools wishing to change the name of an existing school building are recommended to contact Operations and Governance Division ( for advice on the naming process.

Schools may choose to identify potential names via a group, committee or broader engagement with their school community. Schools may identify one proposed name or develop a shortlist for consideration.

Schools seeking to use a name which is not an Aboriginal language name or a commemorative name of a deceased person must identify a name which is appropriate for the school cohort, and is respectful and inclusive.

Schools seeking to use an Aboriginal language name must submit a request to the formally recognised Traditional Owner group seeking their participation in the naming process by:

  • inviting them to a consultation meeting to discuss the process and timing of the naming activity
  • providing information on the school building or school space to inform decision-making
  • formally requesting one or more Aboriginal language names, including the meaning, written pronunciation and an audio recording of each.

Schools considering a name commemorating a deceased person, must undertake due diligence checks, documenting:

  • the reason for the commemoration which might include the person’s achievements, relevant history, significance and/or association to the area/land
  • assurance that that the person is considered to be of good character.

Furthermore, the school must obtain written support for a commemorative name proposal from:

  • the regional director
  • the family confirming that they agree that their name can be associated with the space (and providing authorisation for any other specific personal information to be used, such as a photograph or background information)
  • formally recognised Traditional Owners of the land on which the space is situated if knowingly commemorating an Aboriginal person.

Approval and implementation

With the exception of commemorative names as outlined in the section above, school principals have the authority to name existing school buildings and school spaces.

The purpose of the following approval and implementation activities is to inform follow on activities dependent on the name:

  1. The school principal considers the proposed name(s) and the outcome of any consultation undertaken, before deciding whether to approve the proposed name.
  2. For commemorative names, the school principal seeks regional director approval and following the approval, advises the family of the person being commemorated of the outcome of the decision.
  3. The school principal formally advises the school community and other relevant parties of the name, including the VSBA (refer to the policy on Repurposing and Renaming School Spaces).
  4. Once a name has been approved, the school can undertake follow on activities including the design of signage.
  5. If a new name has been approved, the school is encouraged to promote and celebrate the new name and incorporate it into future communications.
Includes information on policy requirements, funding, shortlisting, and approval and implementation for naming an existing school building or a school space

Reviewed 30 April 2024

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