enunciating Canberra – one hundred years ago

This article was published 100 years ago on the occasion of the foundation ceremony for the city of Canberra, Australia’s capital city.  It was to be another 14 years before the Parliament of Australia moved from Melbourne (where it had sat since 1901) to Canberra.

It was so from the beginning of Federation.  States against states. States against the Commonwealth. The writer seems resigned to the fact that the Constitution allowed for such a place and urges the powers that be to get on with it.

The States are making big sacrifices anyhow to equip the Commonwealth with its new toy.

The place should not be allowed to “eat its head off ” as it will do if the expenditure heats up without there being any return.

The commentary about the prospective names for the capital comes out in favour of Canberra.

It has at least a wholesome, manly burr about its enunciation.

The Brisbane Courier – 13 March 1913


A vision for Canberra – the Griffins

On 23 May 1912, the winner of the prize for designing Australia’s new national capital was announced by newspapers across the country.  The story of the competition can be found on the website An Ideal City.

Chicago’s Walter Burley Griffin (in collaboration with his wife Marian Mahony Griffin) worked from 1914 to 1920 on the realisation of the plans, before moving on to other projects in Australia and elsewhere.  The Griffin Society is a great starting place for more information.

The West Australian – 8 June 1912