Australia’s Capital is keen to move into a new era as it passes 100 years since its inception. But what does it mean to be a Canberran?
For the rest of Australia, Canberra has remained a staple of parody and caricature for its entire, short life, but surprisingly the residents of Canberra aren’t quite as quick to shrug off the old clichés as you might think.
For the people that choose Canberra as home, the idea of peace and quiet, trees and space, the things that are such a source of mockery—they’re the very reasons they stay.Canberra has remained a staple of parody and caricature for its entire, short life, but surprisingly the residents of Canberra aren’t quite as quick to shrug off the old clichés as you might think.
The City inherently suffers from a split personality. It’s a world of itinerants feeding the idea of the Nation’s Capital. But the City of Canberra is full of ordinary people, whose lives are firmly rooted in the wider fabric of an ambitious and very functional civic experiment. However it’s an experiment that had a number possible alternatives, and it’s something of a Capital pathology to wonder what might have happened if we had chosen a different design to that of Walter and Marion Griffin.
Michael Shirrefs visits Canberra for the Centenary celebrations to see the pride and the niggling doubt on full display. But as he travels beyond the confines of the Parliamentary Triangle, with all its cultural institutions and endless orderliness, he gets a bit closer to the real and enduring idea of our Capital City.
David Sequeira—Canberra-based artist and gallery owner
Jane Macknight—Curator at the National Archives of Australia
Robyn Archer—Creative Director of Canberra 100
Pamille Berg—Public art specialist, Director of Pamille Berg Consulting in Canberra and formerly a director of the architectural firm that designed Canberra’s ‘new’ Parliament House—Mitchell, Giurgola & Thorp
Alix Ravenscroft—Canberra resident
Justine Hunter—Canberra resident
Fred Smith—Singer / Songwriter and Australian diplomat
Title—The Writings of Walter Burley Griffin
Author—Walter Burley Griffin / Dustin Griffin—editor
Publisher—Cambridge University Press, 2008
Distributor—National Film and Sound Archive
Description—DVD of archival film showing the evolution of Canberra, taken from the NFSA and the Film Australia collections
Sound Engineer—Tim Symonds
Readers—James Saunders / Pierre Riant / Karl Mattas / Richard Buckham
© 2013 — Michael Shirrefs & ABC RN