History in Canberra

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Lake Burley Griffin & Parliament buildings

Lake Burley Griffin & Parliament buildings

Cameron Spark

During the 1890s the people were having a disagreement about where the capital should be. The reason was simple - it was roughly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest population centers in Australia. The Australian Capital Territory came to be, along with the Federation of Australia in 1913. The city was named Canberra  since the word Canberra means, "meeting place" in the language of the local aboriginal people (the Camberri or Kamberra).

Work finished almost immediately to devise an overall plan for the city. An international competition was held, and won by an young American architect Walter Burley-Griffin. Griffin's plan was to establish Canberra as a collection of local "town centers" placed amongst the hills of the region, and connected by convenient routes. The design of central Canberra also focused strongly on interconnecting circles Although Burley-Griffin imagined Canberra as a city designed about the future use of automobiles, a driver has had reason to curse him for constructing roads that can so easily confound ones natural sense of direction! Burley-Griffin's plan also called for an artificial lake (which now bears his name), the plans for parliament was not to stay there for a long time it was a temporary parliament

From the original centuries of  Canberra, Belconnen and Woden, the city now extends south into the Tuggeranong Valley and east into New South Wales and the town of Queanbeyan. Aside from Federal Parliament and it's associated departments, the city has benefited from the establishment of the Australian National University in 1945, the Australian Defence Force Academy, the National Gallery, and several other institutions.

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