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Canberra History, Australia


For a great number of years, the Ngunnawal people used the land now called Canberra as their meeting place. The Europeans settled in the area around 1824, the time when Joshua Moore bought the first land grant and he also operated a stock station down the base of Black Mountain. In 1845, a small town  developed surrounding the station, complete with a modest school and a church.

The creation of a national capital was supported by the constitution made in 1901 at the time when colonies were merged and Australia was united into one nation. The place was chosen in 1908, which was diplomatically located at a fairly even distance between Melbourne and Sydney. The name Canberra was given in 1913, and it came from an Aboriginal term meaning “meeting place.” Walter Burley Griffin, an American architect, won the worldwide competition to design Canberra. Even if the parliament was first organized in the capital during 1927, it was only after World War II that the vision of a national capital started to be fully achieved.

The Menzies Government formed the National Capital Development Commission during 1957 in order to set up Canberra as Australia’s center of government. The succeeding 20 years saw a dramatic improvement. Bridges were created over an imaginary lake and one year after, the lake followed; the National Library, the Carillon, the Botanic Gardens, and the Mint emerged; the civic center was filled with stores, offices, and theaters.

Canberra grew speedily since there was a transfer of public service sectors during the 1960s. This indicated that new towns in the area were planned. In 1962, Woden, which was the first new town, was constructed. Belconnen was drafted and construction began in 1967. Tuggeranong, which is the third new town, was opened during 1973. This was also when the building of Gungahlin, the fourth new town, began. Each of these four satellite cities were created as an independent city that has its own employment, retail and commercial centers, with the potential to encourage its individual character.

These days, Canberra has government agencies sprinkled throughout the city. It continues to be optimistic as well as daring. It is a stunning city, suitable for the capital of a youthful and flourishing Australia. Canberra has been thoroughly enhanced by the sowing of thousands of trees, the construction of its lovely lakes, its excellent buildings and careful preparation. This is definitely a meeting place like no other.

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