Behind the Business
25th August 2021
This week "Behind the Business" Strong Woman is: Rachael McPhail
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Rachael McPhail. I am a Gomeroi woman, related to the Griffen and Johnston families in Breeza, Gunnedah and Murrurundi. I grew up on Dharawal Country, and have been living on beautiful Wiradjuri Country for the last three years.
I have two kelpies, two chooks, a bunch of nieces and nephews, and I work as a Project Manager Reconciliation Action Plan for a large disability not-for-profit.
I have been campaigning for the last twelve months in regards to acknowledging traditional place names. The campaign first started with me asking Australia Post to include traditional place names in address information in Australia - and it has evolved into a bigger campaign now for the creation of a database of traditional place names that is led by First Nations people, and that has been verified through comprehensive consultation with Elders and community leaders in each Country or Nation.
Can you tell us when did you come up with your idea, did you expect such an positive outcome?
I started the campaign almost 12 months ago, when I started adding Wiradjuri Country to my address, and posting pictures of parcels on my Instagram page (@place_names_in_addresses).
I was hoping that I could encourage family and friends to do the same, but I never imagined that so many people would jump on board. Its really beautiful that there are so many non-Indigenous allies on board with us as well, and who have helped to amplify my campaign.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm hoping to continue with my campaign for the database, and work on that project when it hopefully gets underway.
Then I would love to work with my local council on creating a RAP and creating some First Nations cultural and social programs and activities within our little town.
I am also hoping to complete my university degree this year, catch up with family and do some travelling on Country as soon as we are able to again.
Is there any other information or encouragement you would like to share with other Indigenous Women?
I think that I would just encourage all First Nations women to get involved in a women’s group, and constantly raise each other up. I'm involved with a women's group and an Aboriginal book club in Wagga, so I have been adopted into a big group of amazing, supportive, talented women, who have shown me so much love and strength.
Would love to connect!
Photographer @Sarah-Jane Edis.