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Naming of University Facilities and Entities policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 4 October 2023.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy sets out a framework for naming University facilities and entities which reflects and promotes the University’s values and its commitment to recognising Indigenous peoples and knowledges.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to the naming of:

  1. University facilities: University property not limited to buildings including Deakin Residential Services residences, educational and research facilities, conference rooms, halls, gardens, lawns and courtyards or other locations or structures
  2. University entities: Professorial Chairs, named Professorships and other significant named academic positions, named scholarships and awards, major occasions such as Orations and events across the University and other significant programs and projects which may be proposed for naming in accordance with this Policy.

(4) It does not apply to the naming of:

  1. Faculties, Schools and Institutes, which is subject to the Council Regulations and Vice-Chancellor Regulations
  2. non-University owned businesses operating on the University’s campuses.

(5) In accordance with the statutory Naming Rules for Places in Victoria, the University is not the naming authority for roads and certain places on and around campuses, but the University may put forward or participate in relevant naming proposals which use the principles set out in this Policy and meet the requirements of the statutory Rules.

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Section 4 - Policy

(6) The University’s framework for naming facilities and entities comprises two categories:

  1. functional or generic names, being names reflecting the function, location or nature of a facility or entity, for example Waurn Ponds Library, Arts Precinct, Entrance 1, Building ad, Innovation in Technology Program, DeakinPeople or DeakinSafe. These names do not require individual approval but are applied in accordance with University-wide parameters for consistency and clarity of naming as set out under clause 16a
  2. conferred names, being names approved on an individual basis in accordance with clauses 8-15 of this Policy.

(7) Nothing in this Policy prevents a facility or entity with a functional or generic name being the subject of a proposal for the conferral of a name. If approved the conferred name may either augment or replace the functional or generic name.

Principles for proposals to confer a name

(8) Proposals for the conferral of names must align with the University’s values:

  1. Ethical - We conduct our business with the highest standards of professional behaviour and integrity
  2. Inclusive - We value diversity, embrace difference, respect and welcome all 
  3. Sustainable - We care about our shared future, integrating economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability in all we do
  4. Excellent - We strive for excellence in all aspects of our work
  5. Brave - We make bold decisions, demonstrate courage and ambition, and we support personal responsibility and accountability
  6. Dynamic - We are innovative and entrepreneurial, solving problems with creativity and flexibility.

(9) The University is committed to Reconciliation, Truth Telling in Reconciliation, Treaty and moving Indigenous Knowledges into the mainstream of Australian life. Naming proposals which further this commitment are encouraged, subject that they are based on respectful consultation with and authentic endorsement from Traditional Owner groups. The use of names of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin is encouraged provided this is supported by Traditional Owner groups and the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

(10) Proposers of names are encouraged to put forward proposals which are creative, progressive and respectful. Naming proposals may be inspired by sources including but not limited to:

  1. People and partners
    1. a person or group who has made a substantial contribution to the University or to the University’s objectives
    2. an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elder, Respected Person or People
    3. a donor – person or organisation – who has made a significant philanthropic gift
  2. Places
    1. land of the Traditional Owners upon which the University is located or operates
    2. Indigenous place names
    3. local flora, fauna, landscape or environs
  3. Historic events
    1. landmark events in the University’s development
    2. significant social, historic or cultural events
  4.  Other feature or works
    1. work of scholarship, art, literature
    2. aspiration or ideal. 

(11) Proposals for the conferral of a name may be made to the Vice-Chancellor by:

  1. a member of the Senior Executive Team 
  2. the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council
  3. the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation
  4. the Chief Advancement Officer
  5. one or more University staff through the University Executive Committee
  6. one or more University students through the University Executive Committee.

(12) Naming proposals must explain:

  1. background to the name
  2. how the proposed name would contribute to the principles set out in clauses 8 to 10.
  3. consultation carried out within the University and with the broader community where appropriate
  4. endorsements obtained following consultation.

(13) Naming proposals must be developed with tact and respect. Proposers must maintain awareness of the approval steps required before any proposal can be agreed or announced.

Approval authorities and responsibilities

(14) The University Council is the approval authority for:

  1. this Policy
  2. the following naming conferrals:
    1. University facility category – buildings and conference rooms
    2. University entities category – named Professorial Chairs and named Professorships
  3. University proposals or support for the naming of roads and other places under the statutory Naming Rules for Places in Victoria
  4. any discontinuation or change to a conferred name in accordance with clauses 21c and 22.

(15) The Vice-Chancellor or delegate is responsible for:

  1. ensuring that the University has arrangements in place for managing the consideration and approval process for naming proposals made in accordance with this Policy
  2. the approval of conferred names not covered by 14b above
  3. reporting the approval of names under clause 15b to Council and the Academic Board.

(16) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University Services is the Responsible Executive for this Policy and has oversight of:

  1. parameters to guide orderly and consistent functional or generic naming, including to enable easy wayfinding across University campuses and to reflect the nature of the facility or entity named
  2. arrangements for the preparation and affixation of signage and any plaques associated with the naming of a University facility or entity.


(17) Names proposed for conferral must not:

  1. be in recognition of a current employee
  2. use nomenclature which denotes specific organisational status under the Council Regulations and Vice Chancellor Regulations, such as ‘Institute’ or ‘School’.

(18) Approval of a name does not provide any person, group or organisation any control over or responsibility for the relevant University facility or entity, except as agreed with the University. 

(19) Any naming approvals, arrangements or contracts must comply with the Deakin University Code for Upholding Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Duration of naming and revocation or changes to conferred names

(20) Conferred names may or may not be approved for a specified period of time. Any specified period may be renewed or extended.

(21) Where a facility or entity with a conferred name is to be demolished, substantially changed or discontinued, the University will take reasonable steps to consult with affected parties before adopting a course of action relating to the name, such as:

  1. retaining the name notwithstanding changes to the facility or entity
  2. conferring the name on another suitable facility or entity using the approval steps in this Policy
  3. ceasing the conferral of the name by resolution of the relevant authority under this Policy, that is:
    1. University Council for conferrals made under clause 14b
    2. the Vice-Chancellor for conferrals made under clause 15b.

(22) In addition to the circumstances set out in clause 21c, a name conferred on a University facility or entity may be discontinued or changed by resolution of the University Council on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor where the circumstances relevant to the conferral have changed.


(23) This Policy aims to deliver a progressive, inclusive naming framework which reflects the University’s values, aims and community responsibilities. The University Council will review the policy’s effectiveness in achieving its aims at times determined by the University’s policy review schedule or at any other time determined by Council. This will include reviewing a full list of named University facilities and entities (not limited to the names conferred by Council).

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Section 5 - Definitions

(24) There are no definitions arising under this Policy.