From Gertrude to Awesome! Be Happier with ‘Get a Different Name Day’


Australia Name Change Survey 2020 (Legal Name Change Summary)


From Gertrude to Awesome! Be Happier with ‘Get a Different Name Day’


  • ‘Get a Different Name Day’ is celebrated annually on 13 Feb
  • ‘The 2020 Australian Name Change Survey’ (n=1,389) reveals people who legally change names are happier, have an improved sense of identity and are more confident!
  • Who is changing names and why? There’s no typical story with reasons as diverse as the respondents.

If you were born with a name you just don’t like, then ‘Get a Different Name Day’ is the day for you! Easy Name Change has seen it all; Awesome, Sundae, Future and Ladybird – just to name a few names! Their 2020 Name Change survey polled over 1,000 name changers across 10 years and reveals those changing names have a wide range of motivating reasons. Unlike brides, those legally changing names are overwhelmingly happier, have an improved sense of identity and are more confident.

This is YOUR day to try on a new name, much like trying on a new pair of jeans. How does it fit? What do your friends think? It’s a great opportunity for anyone whose been grappling with wanting a new name, but is not quite ready to tell their adoring parents! Days like this allow Gertrude Smith the opportunity to finally tell mum she’s ready to drop the name lovingly bestowed upon her. Gertrude can test the waters without being judged, and then soon enough she’ll know if she’s ready to be Awesome Smith!

Every year around 35,000 Australian adults legally change names. Genevieve Dennis, the founder of, explains that there’s no typical legal name change respondent or story, but the one thing uniting this group is that they will feel overwhelmingly positive after making the change.

Easy Name Change surveyed 1,389 respondents from 2011 to 2019 for ‘The 2020 Australian Name Change Survey’. The survey reveals that 81% of those legally changing names agree or strongly agree they are happier, followed by 80% having a stronger sense of identity and 70% being more confident. Compare this with newlyweds who have changed names. They generally feel neutral about the change. Only 28% are happier, 25% report an improved sense of identity and 18% are more confident.

When it comes to why people legally change names, the pattern is much less clear. “People who legally change names are motivated by a range of reasons. The 2 most common are people joining or affirming their place within a family, and people formalising the name they are commonly known by.” However, these 2 reasons are only cited by 40% of respondents.

12% making the change simply did not like their name, accounting for about 4,000 people annually. “Some of the interesting names crossing our desks include Future, Sherwood, Flippies, Elvis, Ladybird and  Sundae,” Dennis explains that just over half will change their first name, either alone or with other names. Whereas one-third will only change their surname.

Other reasons include disassociating with family or simplifying a name that’s difficult to pronounce or spell. In 2019 Easy Name Change saw a significant increase in the number of respondents changing names because their name did not suit their gender, more than doubling from prior years. The darker side of changing names is those escaping domestic violence.

Chart 1. All respondents 2010-19. Q: “How do you feel about the following statements?” A: Strongly agree, agree, neutral (2.5), disagree, strongly disagree. Index of 5

Chart 2. All legal name change respondents 2010-19. Q: “What best describes your situation?”

While naming restrictions vary between states, most don’t allow official titles or ranks recognised in Australia, a name that is offensive, too long or includes a number of symbols. More recently BDM has expanded the list to ban names that may be a statement or phrase, reference a public institution or represent commercial or public interests.

If today’s alias works out well and you’re ready to take on a new moniker it doesn’t come cheap! You’ll need to part with between $141 (NT) and $260 (SA) to apply for your legal name change with Births, Deaths and Marriages. Apply in the state where you were born. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be processed and you’ll be issued with an amended birth certificate.

Changing names doesn’t ends with Births, Deaths and Marriages! Just because you have a shiny new certificate does not mean any of your records change. No government departments or companies link records from BDM so you typically need to follow up with each company to get your records updated. If you’ve got better things to do an Easy Name Change notification kit provides ready to send paperwork and full instructions so you can get your new name updated in all the usual places. Kits start from just $35 and provide full instructions and paperwork for over 600 Australian organisations.

‘Get a Different Name Day’ is your day to have fun! Be sure to tell friends, family and colleagues that you’re trying on your new name. See how it feels! If you need more information or have any tricky questions head to Come 14 Feb, if you’re ready to make the plunge get the application form from the Births, Deaths and Marriages website in the state where you were born. (If born overseas, apply in the state where you currently reside).

‘Get a Different Name Day’ was the brainchild of Thomas & Ruth Roy, the creators of 80 fun & imaginative days to be celebrated, including ‘No Housework Day’ (7 Apr), ‘Hug an Australian Day’ (26 Apr) and ‘Cliché Day’ (3 Nov).

About The Australian Name Change Survey and Easy Name Change 

Since 2008 Easy Name Change has helped over 1 million people around the world change names legally, revert to their former name or change names after marriage. Easy Name Change was born in Melbourne and is now a Gold Coast-based company (Wired Living Pty Ltd), offering services in Australia, the UK, Canada and the USA. Easy Name Change has conducted the Australian Name Change Survey since 2010.

‘The 2020 Australian Name Change Survey’ looks at a decade of name change trends. It is the largest name change survey in Australia, polling 1,389 people who had changed names or considered changing names for any reason and was conducted between 2011 – 2019. View the Legal Name Change Survey Summary or the full presentation online at


Easy Name Change

Genevieve Dennis, Marketing Manager

03 9015 7699  |  0413 232 703

Ready to change your name now?