The Anglican Church of Australia has been known by this name since 24 August 1981.

Prior to this date it was known as the Church of England in Australia, a name that reflects its origins as part of English colonial settlement during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

When the existing Constitution came into force in 1962 it contained the provisions for a change of name (Sections 66 and 67). In 1966, the 2nd General Synod passed Canon 16 which provided for a change of name in stages, namely that:

  1. the required number of dioceses had to give their assent to the change to the Constitution; and
  2. following this, the various Acts of Parliament in the "Territories under the control of the Commonwealth of Australia" were required to be amended.
  3. following this, the Primate, would declared a date for the Canon to come into effect.

It took all the necessary state and federal parliaments fifteen years to pass the required legislative amendments.