• What names are in your mob? (Image: originally Artzzi, edited by NITV) (Artzzi)Source: Artzzi
What are the most common names for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies?
Sophie Verass

27 Oct 2016 - 3:46 PM  UPDATED 28 Oct 2016 - 9:30 AM

The 'most popular baby names' list comes out every year, featured in newspaper magazine inserts and mummyblogs, giving expecting parents suggestions and indicating generational trends.   

With our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population making up such a small percentage of overall Australia, the most common or 'trending' names in Indigenous communities are submerged into the culture of the wider Australia only. Although an interesting read, the annual baby names list doesn't cater to the specificity of Indigenous Australia. 

Why specify?

Aside from appealing to general public interest, on a sociological level, finding out popularities within particular groups can provide an understanding of cultural identity, the impact of historical movements and even, social cohesion and segregation.

"One embodiment of a person's [sic] culture is 'what did you name your kid?'," says economist and leading expert in black American culture, Roland Fryer.   


Many naming trends or commonalities have passed through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, varying between different clan groups and regions. Kinship names; placing importance on middle names, rather than first names; and of course, the imposed of European names during the settlement period, for example. Today, we see a shift toward more American-style names like 'Cooper', 'Tyler' and 'Chase', as well as unique names, not seen on the overall Australian list like, 'Nevaeh', 'Mahalia' and 'Aaliyah'. 

NITV compiled data from all Australian states of children born in 2016 who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to find out the most common names for Indigenous Australian newborns. 



1. Mason
2. Noah
3. Elijah
4. Oliver
5. Ethan
6. Levi
7. Hunter
8. William
9. Tyler
10. Cooper
11. Nate
12. Eli
13. Hudson
14. Chase
15. Leo
16. Logan
17. Braxton
18. Beau
19. Isaac
20. Alexander


1. Mia
2. Amelia
3. Ava
4. Charlotte
5. Layla
6. Ruby
7. Olivia
8. Isabella
9. Evie
10. Nevaeh
11. Scarlett
12. Alexis
13. Ella
14. Mahalia
15. Sophie
16. Aaliyah
17. Tayla
18. Sienna
19. Sophia
20. Willow


Results are based on data made available from Australian states. NITV would like to acknowledge the assistance of all Australian State and Territory registrars and staff and data analyst, Darryl Miller for their contributions on this project.   

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