A street by any other name

BOGAN, Hipster, Bono and Knucklebuckle are some of the street names that have been rejected for nine unnamed roads in Mount Lawley and Highgate.

In 2014 the Beaufort Street Network requested the roads be given names to help build a sense of place. After exhaustive public consultation, Vincent council received 251 suggestions.

Landgate, The department of Aboriginal affairs and the Whadjuk working group helped the city draw up a shortlist of names, and now Landgate gets the final say.

Beaufort Street Network chair Joshua O’Keefe says “I think it’s a really important step in defining the space for everybody. It’s one of the elements of a good place, to know where you actually are…it gives it a bit more identity. You want names that connect it to the history.”

Vincent council will approve the list of names to send to Landgate at next Tuesday’s (February 5) council meeting.

Some of our favourite suggested street names:

BOGAN: One person suggested naming lanes after “endemic animal and plant species that we have on the Swan Coastal Plain”. Landgate rejected that name as “discriminatory”.

HIPSTER: The person who submitted Bogan also suggested Hipster as another “endemic animal”. Landgate said that it’s “a trend. Road names are intended to be enduring”. Landgate also noted “Hipster is not unique to the area.”

KNUCKLEBUCKLE: Someone suggested this because it “sounds fun and funky which is what this project is all about!”. Landgate reckons it’s an “inappropriate combination of words”. Apparently it’s another name for knuckledusters.

BONO: Not the singer, but an Aboriginal word for “wood”. Landgate wants Aboriginal names to be local to the area, and this was deemed too vague. For some reason “Boornoo,” which means tree, stick or wood, made the shortlist, as did “Booma,” which means to hit, strike or kill.

BATH LANE: Someone suggested the laneway between Vincent and Harold Streets be called this because “for some 20 years the top floor of 565 Beaufort Street was a gay sauna and steam bath…it offered a safe, clean environment to the local gay community”. Landgate sidestepped the subject matter by saying it was a “duplication” (although we can’t find a Bath Lane in Perth, just a Bath Street in Wembley.).

NGILGEE (or Ngilgi): Former Vincent councillor Dudley Maier suggested this for the laneway off Harold Street. He wrote that “Ngilgee was a feisty Aboriginal woman who had a camp in the neighbourhood of Highgate Hill at the turn of the last century…her ‘fringe camp’ was described as being in the Hyde Park area, northeast at a small lake near Mary Street”. Landgate considered that “overused”, but we can’t actually find any Ngilgee lanes, roads, streets or circuits.


ARNOLD: The recommended name for a laneway behind Raglan Road. The Mount Lawley Society suggested this one, in recognition of the longstanding family business Arnold’s pharmacy, which ran at 645 Beaufort Street from 1910.

DANKER: Potential name for the lane between Grosvenor and Chelmsford. It’s in recognition of Eric Leslie Salisbury Danker, a Grosvenor Road local who served in the medic corps in France in World War I. He was killed in action in April 1918, aged 25.

BOODJA: The name recommended for a road coming off (what could soon be) Danker Lane. It’s an Aboriginal word meaning ground, land, or country, and it’s proposed for that little road because it has a lot of vegetation.

MERIFIELD: For the laneway coming south off Chelmsford. Also suggested by the Mount Lawley Society, the name honours William Merifield, a soldier wounded in 1918 and who returned to live on Grosvenor Road from 1919. He also won a WA Bravery Award for rescuing a truck driver from a burning wreck in 1943. He left no known descendants.

TRAMWAY: For the little road between Vincent and Harold Street, to acknowledge Perth’s first tramway which serviced Beaufort Street.

MERENY: An Aboriginal word meaning bread or food, proposed for the road between St Alban’s Avenue and Harold Street. It’s behind a bakery at 507 Beaufort St, so Landgate reckons it makes sense.

KAADADJINY: For the road between William and Beaufort Streets, running behind houses on the north side of Chatworth Road. It’s a Noongar word for thinking, learning or understanding.

KAATA: An Aboriginal word meaning the highest point of something or a hill. This would be the name for the long laneway that comes off Harold Street and leads North behind the Beaufort Street strip of shops.

LOIS: The little lane between Beaufort and Roy Streets. Lois Lane would be named as such to recognise the road’s connection with Planet Video, a “Beaufort Street Institution.” A lot of people suggested “Planet Lane” but Landgate didn’t want to name it after a business.


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