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Belconnen's History

In terms of urban settlement Belconnen is forty years old in 2006. Development started at Aranda in 1966 and eventualy moved out, the most recent urban development being Dunlop and Bruce. Belconnen had been settled by Europeans farmers since the mid 1800s and some traces of agricultural activity remain. Before then it had been the home of the Ngunnawal people for some thousands of years.

Timeline and Judy the great

Below are two stories on Belconnen History both compiled Belconnen historians Brian Rhynehart and Elizabeth Burness. Brian's is a timeline on Belconnen Events and Elizabeth writes on former character "judy the great". Access Judy

 

Belconnen history timeline

compiled by Brian Rhynehart

Pre-June 1966

Pre-June 1966 Or How it was.
The line of the original full-blooded Aboriginal inhabitants (Ngunawal people) of the area is believed to have ended with the death in Queanbeyan of Nellie Hamilton, ("Queen" Nellie (c1835-1897)). Nellie was the wife of the Aboriginal Ginninderra cricketer Bobby Hamilton.

Many of the older settlers had moved on and the district had waned since land acquisitions had commenced in 1913. The Ginninderra school had been closed in 1911 when the new school at Hall opened.

There was a small reprieve for the district when several of the former major properties were partially sub-divided into soldier settlement blocks in the years following the return of troops from World War 1.

The Ginninderra Police Station had closed in 1927 and the Ginninderra Post Office had closed in 1962.

The cemeteries at St. Paul's (The church & school had been officially opened in October 1861 but activity had ceased about 1900 and the manse and other remaining buildings were in disrepair. The cemetery was desecrated by the construction of the suburb of Evatt and a few interments outside the formal grounds were lost forever) and Weetangerra (The Methodist church had been moved from Lyneham to the site in 1873 and 44 burials were recorded in this cemetery. The church was dismantled in 195? and a small stone cairn was erected on the site) had closed and there was no active church (ref. Pioneer Parson of Early Canberra: Rev. Pierce Gilliard Smith, Minister of St. John the Baptist Church, Reid (1855-1905), John Cope, 2006, Ginninderra Press, Charnwood, ACT.).

The rural properties of Pine Ridge, Strathnairn (Both Pine Ridge & Strathnairn properties are situated off what is now Stockdill Drive), Lands End (South west of the intersection of Drake Brockman and William Hovell Drives), Baringa, Kama (South of Hawker), Cranleigh (Northwest of the intersection of Southern Cross and Kingsford Smith Drives, it was built for Lieutenant General James Gordon Legge CB, CMG, MA, LLB (15/8/1863-18/9/1947) in 1923. He raised pigs and horses and cultivated potatoes), Belconnen and Melrose (Off the old Charnwood Road near the intersection with the old Weetangera Road; around the present section 34 Holt) were occupied (Much of this early history information is courtesy of Elizabeth Burness writing from: - Ginninderra, forerunner to Canberra: a history of the Ginninderra District. Lyall Leslie Gillespie, 1992, Lyall L. Gillespie, Canberra ACT.).

A small part of the village of Hall (named for Henry Hall (1812-1880), formerly of Charnwood) (Some building foundations on the site of the former 'Charnwood' property were reportedly destroyed on instructions from the NCDC in the early 60s in the name of safety), which had been established in 1886 and was an active settlement was included in the district.

Built adjoining the former Weetangerra Public School which had not been used since the end of World War 2, the Weetangerra Post Office / telephone exchange (A telephone switchboard had been installed in 1926) was still partially operating and occupied as a residence by Leslie & Barbara Tong. It had been constructed in the early 20s from one of the Molonglo Internment Camp buildings, which had been transported to the site in 3 sections (ref. The Molonglo Mystery, Alan Foskett, 2006, Alan Foskett, Campbell ACT. see also The Canberra Courier, 12th February 1970).

Glenloch, south of Mt. Painter, was a working property and Fassifern equestrian park, west of Dunlop, was also reportedly active.

The cemeteries at St. Paul’s and Weetangerra had closed and there was no active church. The rural properties of Pine Ridge, Strathnairn, Lands End, Baringa, Kama, Cranleigh, Belconnen and Melrose were occupied. A small part of the village of Hall (named for Henry Hall, formerly of Charnwood), which had been established in 1886 and was an active settlement was included in the districtBuilt adjoining the former Weetangerra Public School which had not been used since the end of World War 2, the Weetangerra Post Office / telephone exchange was still partially operating and occupied as a residence by Leslie & Barbara Tong. It had been constructed in the early 20s from one of the Molonglo Internment Camp buildings, which had been transported to the site in 3 sections.
Glenloch was a working property and Fassifern equestrian park was also reportedly active.

1930 The Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station (est. 1939) comprising 2 transmitting halls, several aerial arrays, a guardhouse, accommodation, messing facilities, a plant room, workshop and stores was an integral part of the district. Extensions, which had been added in the 50s and 60s, included a two-storey administration building, a regulating office and maintenance rooms. A prominent station event in a non-military application was the broadcasting to many overseas countries of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
1950 An 11Kv line to supply electricity to the rural properties around Weetangerra had been completed in October 1950 by the Canberra Electricity Supply
  Access to the Belconnen District from the city and north Canberra was via Weetangera Road (a gravel road originating from Dryandra Street O’Connor, opposite Lomandra Street).
  A 330 / 132 Kv substation was being constructed on behalf of the Electricity Commission of NSW on part of the former Belconnen Farm.
1956
Results of events in the Melbourne Olympics sent to the world from the Belconnen Naval radio transmitters.
1964 The $218,000 Belconnen Telephone Exchange, situated on Emu Ridge, which had been commenced about 1964 – 1965, was at an advanced stage with the commencement of equipment installation.
1965 The provision of basic infrastructure, telephones, electricity, sewers, stormwater and water had started about 1965, some roads had been constructed and the basic street layout in the area to be known as Aranda was in place. A recently developed method of providing kerbs & gutters; where the kerb, rather than being perpendicular, sloped back, was employed on all residential streets. This concept removed the requirement to return at a later date and break the kerb to install the driveways in the appropriate positions.
  There were some 25 sites (some not properly identified at that time) of aboriginal significance, including pathways, a scarred tree, places of artefact scatterings and some axe grinding groves, in the district.
  There were sites of local significance that were not identified in the official list, e.g.:- several rural/semi-rural buildings, tree plantings around Charnwood, The Glebe and Weetangerra.
  The remaining natural and early settlement sites that were considered to be significant included the Ginninderra Police Station, the Ginninderra Creek Settlement site (aka Ginninderra Estate or Palmerville), the Belconnen Farm, the Ginninderra Wetlands, the Weetangerra Cemetery, Gossan Hill, Rosebud Apiary (the demolished & transplanted Hillview homestead), the College Street road cutting & Mount Painter (originally called Round Hill).
1966 The district of Belconnen was defined in the Australian Capital Territory “Districts Ordinance 1966”, gazetted on 31st March 1966.
23/6/1966 Amid heightened security resulting from the shooting of the Leader of the Opposition, Arthur Calwell in Sydney a few days earlier, the District of Belconnen (A name associated with the locality since the days of the early settlers. The name was taken from a land grant in the area, made in 1837, to the explorer Captain Charles Sturt.) was inaugurated by the Minister for the Interior, John Douglas (Doug) Anthony. M.P. A Commemoration Stone was laid in the Aranda playing fields. Some of the officials present were:- Eric Keehn (First assistant secretary (lands), Department of the Interior), Lou Engledow (Secretary & manager, NCDC), Richard Kingsland (Secretary of Interior), James Harold (Jim) Pead (chairman, ACT Advisory Council), Peter Harrison (director of town planning, NCDC).
1966 The Electricity Commission of NSW energised the 330 / 132 Kv Substation on Parkwood Road west of the area that became the Belconnen Golf Club.
1967 The first residential leases in Aranda were offered at auction.
1967 The suburbs of Aranda (named for an Aboriginal Tribe of Central Australia, with a street theme:- names of Aboriginal Tribal units) and Macquarie (named for Major-General Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824) [Governor of NSW 1810-1821], with a street theme:- contemporaries of Governor Macquarie) were gazetted
1967 Construction commenced, beside Ginninderra Creek, west of the proposed suburb of Macgregor, for the Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre.
The decision was made by the National Capital Development Commission to create a Lake on Ginninderra Creek.
Revegetation of the area was commenced
1967 First settlers in the suburbs of Aranda and Macquarie.
1967 Detailed planning and provision of the initial infrastructure for the Belconnen Town Centre was commenced.
1967 Construction was commenced for the Postmaster Generals Department of the Scullin Telephone Exchange on the corner of Belconnen Way and Kingsford Smith Drive.
10/11/67 The first section (1½ miles) of Belconnen Way was opened by the Minister for the Interior, Peter James Nixon.
After driving to Aranda the keys for the first government house to be allocated in Aranda were handed over in a subsequent ceremony.
1968 Macquarie Primary School opened.
1968 The Belconnen trunk sewer line to the Belconnen Pollution Control Centre was completed
1968 On a 300 acre reserved site, the bulk earthworks for the first buildings of the Canberra College of Advanced Education at Bruce were commenced.
1968 First foreshadowed in the 1966-67 NCDC Annual Report, a new high school, built as Aranda or Belconnen High School on the corner of Belconnen Way and Bindubi Street, was completed.
1968 The former Weetangerra Post Office/telephone exchange was officially closed
1968 The suburbs of Bruce (named for Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce (1883-1967) [Prime Minister 1923-1929], with a street theme:- Australian Tertiary Education), Cook (named for Captain RN James Cook (1728-1779) [Explorer], with a street theme:- notable women), Higgins (named for Henry Bournes Higgins (1851-1929) [Justice of the High Court 1906-1929], with a street theme:- Judges), Latham (named for Sir John Greig Latham (1877-1964) [Chief Justice of the High Court 1935-1952], with a street theme:- Judges), Page (named for Sir, Dr. Earle Christmas Grafton Page (1880-1961) [Prime Minister 1939], with a street theme:- Scientists) and Scullin (named for James Henry Scullin (1876-1953) [Prime Minister 1929-1931], with a street theme:- Aviators) were gazetted.
1968 The Minister for Education and Science, Senator John Grey Gorton approved the transfer of the Canberra High School from their building at Acton to the recently completed building at Belconnen, which was temporarily being used by the Canberra College of Advanced Education.
1968 The suburbs of Belconnen (named for a property in the area, with a street theme:- Lord Mayors & Mayors) and Weetangera (named for Weetangerra, a former name of the district & a parish in the area, with a street theme:- Pioneers of the Australian Capital Territory) were gazetted.
1968 First settlers in the suburbs of Cook and Page.
1968 The Commonwealth Railways and the NSW Railways Department announced a rail line to Belconnen. The inference gained was that the envisaged route would approximate the earlier surveyed and proposed Canberra to Yass alignment.
28/10/68 The Canberra College of Advanced Education was established. John Grey Gorton, Prime Minister, unveiled an inappropriately placed foundation stone.
1968 (december) Aranda Shopping Centre opened.
1969 (January) 820 Canberra High School students moved into the new high school on the corner of Belconnen Way and Bindubi Street that had originally been designated as Aranda or Belconnen High School.
1969 (January) Aranda Primary School opened.
1969 The NCDC accepted tenders for the extension of Caswell Drive to Lady Denman Drive.
1969 The Scullin Telephone Exchange, built for the Postmaster Generals Department (now Telstra), was commissioned
1969 Construction of a 15 million gallon water reservoir just east of Bruce Ridge was completed.
1969 Construction of the Jamison Group Centre, Macquarie (named for Thomas Jamison, a surgeon with the First Fleet) was commenced.
1969 Construction of Cook Primary School commenced.
1969 Construction of Page Primary School commenced.
1969 First settlers in the suburbs of Higgins and Scullin.
1969 (August) Canberra High School was officially re-opened by John McEwen; Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Trade and Industry.
1969 (November) Construction commenced in the suburb of Hawker for the $1.5 million replacement Belconnen High School. The contract was awarded to George Wimpey & Co. Ltd.
1970 (January) Some Canberra College of Advanced Education Administration staff moved from their temporary accommodation at 220 Northbourne Avenue to Bruce.
1970 (January) Between 12:30 & 2:00 an estimated ¾ inch of rain and hail was dumped on Belconnen, the worst effected area was Aranda where lawns and fences were carried away and water entered at least three houses in Darambal Street.
Flooding also occurred at the intersection of Belconnen Way and Petterd Street, a problem that persisted at least a decade.
1970 (February) Scullin Pre-School opened for its first children.
1970 Construction of the Melba Telephone Exchange in Verburgghen Street for the Post Master Generals Department (now Telstra) was commenced.
1970 Building 1, a three-storey multi-purpose building, was opened for 1147 Canberra College of Advanced Education students.
1970 (May)

The NCDC called tenders for the construction of the Cameron Offices in the Belconnen Town Centre. The completed offices would house Commonwealth Departments.
A $534,000 road works contract was let for extensions to Kingsford Smith and Southern Cross Drives.

 

1970 (May) Scullin Primary School opened to its first students.
1970 (May) St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School, Aranda, opened to its first students.
1970 (July) The suburb of Holt (named for Harold Edward Holt (1908-1967) [Prime Minister 1966-1967], with a street theme:- sportsmen & sportswomen) was gazetted.
1970 The Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre was opened.
1970 (August) A contract was let and construction of the $8.6 million Cameron Offices complex in the Belconnen Town Centre, designed by John Andrews & built by T. C. Whittle P/L, was commenced.
(They were demolished in 2006)
1970 (August) The Minister for the Interior, Peter James Nixon, officially opened the Jamison Shopping Centre.
(the "By Jove its Jamison campaign")
1970 (October) St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School, Aranda, officially opened.
1970 First settlers in the suburb of Weetangera.
1971 (February) 137 points of rain falling in less than 10 minutes on the suburb of Aranda caused flooding in Gurnai Place, Banjalong Crescent and Bindaga Street, entering a house in Gurnai Place.
A car park at the College of Advanced Education was flooded with two cars floating away and several others damaged, a storeroom also sustained some damaged.
Flooding occurred on Belconnen Way at Petterd Street Page.
1971 (February) Stage 1 of the Belconnen High School opened for the first intake of students.
1971 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra) enrolled 1968 students and opened the Maintenance Building and Boiler House.
1971 (April) The suburb of Hawker (named for Charles Allan Seymour Hawker (1894-1938) [soldier, pastoralist, politician], with a street theme:- Northern Territory Pastoral Stations) was gazetted.
1971 (April) The Latham Zone Electrical Substation was completed and commissioned for the ACT Electricity Authority.
1971 The Melba Telephone Exchange was commissioned.
1971 Canberra’s population was 143,600 and the population of Belconnen was 19,900.
1971 First settlers in the suburb of Latham.
1971 The Belconnen Ambulance Station and Police Station in Lathlain Street were opened.
1971 (September) The suburbs of Charnwood, (named for the property over which it was constructed, with a street theme:- pioneers of New South Wales) Flynn, (named for Reverend John Flynn (1880-1951) [Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service], with a street theme:- Flying Doctor Service & inland missions) Macgregor (named for Sir William Macgregor (1846-1919) [Governor of Queensland 1909-1914], with a street theme:- Medical Profession) and Melba (named for Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931) [World famous coloratura soprano], with a street theme:- Musicians) were gazetted.
1971 (September) The Belconnen Fire Station in Lathlain Street was opened.
1971 (October) Proposed and discussed at 200 beds in 1966 and by J.R. Fraser MHR, with a suggested realistic capacity of 600 beds the Australian Government signed an agreement with The Little Company of Mary for the provision of a 200-bed hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. The anticipated site for construction was land in the Belconnen District previously earmarked for a hospital.
1971 Ginninderra Creek was dammed to commence the formation of Lake Ginninderra.
1972 (February) For the third year in a row extreme February rainfall caused flash flooding in the Belconnen District; in this instance a woman and her car were washed about 100yds down Ginninderra Creek whilst trying to cross a culvert on the Charnwood Road.
1972 (February) Latham Primary School opened
1972 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra) opened the Applied Science Building (Building 3), Lecture Theatre Centre (Building 2), stage 1 of the Sports Centre (Building 4) & residences for an additional 100 students that were completed during the preceding year.
2377 students were enrolled.
1972 First settlers in the suburbs of Flynn, Holt, Hawker, MacGregor and Melba.
1972 (November) The suburbs of Evatt (named for Dr. Herbert Vere Evatt (1894-1965) [Politician & Justice of the High Court], with a street theme:- the Legal Profession) and Spence (named for William Guthrie Spence (1846-1926) [“Father” of the Australian Workers Union], with a street theme:- Trade Unionists) were gazetted.
1972 (December) Built by T.H. O’Connor in the suburb of Hawker, The Belconnen Way Hotel and the Darwin wing of the Belconnen Way Motel opened.
1973 (February) Holt, Melba and Weetangera Primary Schools opened to their first intake of students.
1973 (February) Belconnen’s first set of traffic lights was made operational at the intersection of Belconnen Way & Caswell Drive.
1973 (March) Designed by John Andrews, the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra) opened residences for an additional 100 students that were completed during 1972.
3017 students were enrolled.
1973 (March) Contracts were let by the NCDC for the construction of the Melba and Scullin Health Centres.
1973 Progressive occupation of the partly constructed Cameron Offices by the Australian Bureau of Statistics was commenced.
1973 First settlers in the suburbs of Charnwood and north Evatt.
1973 (June) Melba Health Centre completed.
1973 (July) As a result of design and construction problems around the Belconnen Town Centre, a temporary bus interchange was established at Higgins shops.
1973 (July) Scullin Health Centre completed.
1973 Construction of Belconnen Golf Course, west of Holt, was commenced.
1973 The embankment damming the flow of Ginninderra Creek was completed.
1973 (December) Construction was commenced of the Kippax Health Centre.
1974 (January) The suburbs of Fraser (named for James Reay (Jim) Fraser (1908-1970) [ACT politician], with a street theme:- early ACT residents), Giralang (named from the Wiradhuri word for ‘STAR’, with a street theme:- aboriginal words for stars, astronomers and constellations seen from the Southern Hemisphere), Kaleen (named from the Wiradhuri word for ‘WATER’, with a street theme:- Australian rivers) and McKellar (named for Gerald Colin McKellar (1903-1970) [Senator 1958-1970], with a street theme:- journalists) were gazetted.
1974 (February) Evatt, Flynn (designed in 1972 by Enricho Taglietti,) and MacGregor Primary Schools opened for their first intake of students.
1974 (February) Ginninderra High School in Holt opened for its first students.
1974 (February) Cranleigh Special School at Holt opened.
1974 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Canberra Uni) opened (Building 8) the Library, which was completed during the preceding year.
3219 students were enrolled.
1974 The Rotary Club of Belconnen’s Trash and Treasure markets commenced in a section of the Jamison Centre car park.
1974 (May) Kenneth Lionel Fry (ALP) was elected in the new seat of Fraser (which included Belconnen).
1974 First settlers in the suburb of Spence.
1974 The construction of the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre, a tertiary staged wastewater treatment facility designed by Caldwell Connell & built by a joint venture of Dillingham and Ralph M. Parsons, adjacent to the junction of the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers, was commenced.
1974 Stage 1 of the Melba Flats (Baringa Gardens) was completed for the NCDC.
1974 Australia Post opened a Mail Delivery Centre in Cohen St. Belconnen.
1974 Designed by Enricho Taglietti, Giralang Primary School construction started.
1974 Filling of Lake Ginninderra was completed.
1975 (February) Charnwood Primary School opened to its first intake of students.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School (Charnwood) opened to its first intake of students.
1975 Construction was underway of Hawker Secondary College.
1975 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education opened the School of Teacher Education (Building 5) & extensions to Building 1 that were completed during the preceding year.
4659 students were enrolled for this year.
1975 Kippax Health Centre was completed.
1975 First settlers in the suburbs of Fraser and Giralang
1975 The eastern section of Ginninderra Drive and the bridge across the northern arm of the lake were under construction.
1975 The progressive occupation of sections of the Cameron Offices by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (a total of 1650 staff members) was completed.
1975 The Alice wing of the Belconnen Way Motel was completed and opened.
1975 Service reservoirs were constructed at Weetangera (45 Ml, on the eastern slopes of The Pinnacle) and at Spence (67.5 Ml, at Clarey Crescent & Scattergood Place).
1975 (July) The first formally recorded meeting was held by persons interested in providing a riding facility for disabled children; potential clients were identified as from Woden Valley Hospital and Hartley House. The approved name was to be ‘The Disabled Riders of the ACT.’
1975 (August) The suburb of Florey (named for Baron Howard Florey (1898-1968) [Medical Scientist], with a street theme:- scientists) was gazetted.
1975 (November) constitutionally Australia’s darkest day!
The blocking of supply and the implications of an overthrown Federal Government had a deleterious effect on public and private sector confidence (very critical to the continued growth and development of Canberra and in particular the development of a half-finished District of Belconnen). The effects rippled on for several years and brought to an end the recently restarted talks about cross-border development.
1975 (December) The bulk earthworks on the site for the Belconnen Mall were commenced.
1975 (December) Being built for the NCDC and designed by Devine, Erby and Mazlin Pty. Ltd., construction of the $7.4 million first stage of the main campus for the Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (Now Bruce CIT) at Bruce was commenced.
The proposed construction of the $2.2 million Benjamin Way TAFE annex was announced.
‘The Disabled Riders of the ACT’ held their 4th meeting and accepted the name ‘Pegasus’ as their business name, no permanent site had yet been obtained but ad hoc riding was being conducted.
1976 (January) Giralang Primary School, the Melba High School and the Hawker Secondary College were opened.
1976 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education opened stage 2 of the Applied Science Building, a crèche, the School of Environmental Design / Applied Geography (Building 7) & some additional residences that were completed during 1975.
4700 students were enrolled.
1976 An interim Belconnen Retail (fruit and Vegetables) Markets were established in the centre area of Oatley Court.
1976 Canberra’s population was 201,800 and the population of Belconnen was 58,800.
1976 The Macquarie Swimming Pool, opposite the Jamison Centre, was completed and opened.
1976 St. Francis Xavier Catholic College in Florey completed.
1976 (August) Built for Dr. Russell, construction of the first stage of the Charnwood shops was completed. Early starters being a newsagent, the Shop Rite Supermarket, a Pharmacy and Butchers shop.
An independent Service Station was opened on an adjoining site about the same time.
1976 (September) The NCDC handed over the Belconnen Remand Centre, built to house 16 men and 3 women, to the Department of the Capital Territory.
1976 (September) The Belconnen Remand Centre was officially opened by Anthony Allan (Tony) Staley, Minister for the Capital Territory.
1976 (September 20) Construction of the $24 million Belconnen Mall commenced for the Canberra Commercial Development Authority.
1976 (September) The official opening of Hawker Secondary College by Senator John Leslie Carrick, Minister for Education.
1976 (October) Originally known as “Ginninderra Centre of the Little Athletics Association of New South Wales”, the Ginninderra Little Athletics Centre commenced competitions at the Charnwood Playing Fields. The children were drawn from the suburbs of Melba, Spence, Evatt, Charnwood, Macgregor and Flynn. Registrations for the first season numbered 283.
1976 First settlers in the suburb of Kaleen.
1976 (October) Ginninderra Drive from Evatt to North Canberra was opened
1976 (Noveber) The Belconnen Shopping Arcade, comprising 30 plus shops, opened on the western side of Oatley Court.
1976 (December) Taking some of the load off the Dickson station, the Belconnen Ambulance Station changed to 24-hour operation.
1977 (February) Built at a cost of $1.8 million, Giralang Primary School opened for first term.
1977 (February) St. Francis Xavier College in Florey opened for students.
1977 (March) The Canberra College of Advanced Education opened the Media Centre (Building 9) and Animal House (Building ?) that were completed during the preceding year.
4857 students were enrolled.
1977 (March) Built in the area to become the suburb of Lawson, the Belconnen Zone Electrical Substation was completed and commissioned for the ACT Electricity Authority.
1977 Construction of the Cameron Offices, with their unique architectural features such as the beam construction, roof gardens & tennis courts and the spaces between wings representing climatic zones from wet to arid was completed.
1977 (March)
The Bruce College of Technical and Further Education (Now CIT Bruce Campus) was formally established.
1977 (May) The Belconnen Campus of the Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (Now CIT Bruce Campus), in Benjamin Way, was opened for the School of Electrical Studies.
1977 (July) Kippax Fair, in the Kippax Group Centre (named for Alan Falconer Kippax), Holt was opened.
1977 (July) The Australian Institute of Sport – National Athletics Stadium, designed by Phillip Cox, was completed.
1977 (August) The final concrete was poured in stage-1 of the Belconnen Mall construction.
1977 Kaleen High School was completed.
1977 (December) The Australian Institute of Sport – National Athletics Stadium, hosted the Pacific Conference Games.
1978 (January) Raymond John Groom, Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development, gave approval for the construction of the Glenloch Interchange.
1978 (February) Copland College and Kaleen High School opened to first student intakes.
1978 Construction was commenced of the $6.9 million Belconnen Bus Depot and Workshop.
1978 (February) First day of trading following the completion of stage-1 construction and the initial fit out of the Belconnen Mall. The Mall was designed by Cameron, Chisholm & Nicol and built by the joint venture partnership of T. H. O’Connor Pty. Ltd. and Costain Australia Limited for the Canberra Commercial Development Authority and was irreverently referred to as “Pead’s Palace”.
1978 (March) Work commenced on the $200,000 1st stage of the West Canberra Australian Football Club’s new premises in Hardwick Crescent Holt; the builder was Civil and Civic Pty. Ltd.
1978 (March) The School of Administrative Studies building (Building 6) was occupied and the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra) enrolled 5176 students.
1978 (March) A foundation Stone was laid for the West Canberra Australian Football Club’s (Magpies) (now Belconnen Magpies) new premises in Hardwick Crescent Holt.
1978 At the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra), extensions to house the School of Environmental Design were completed.
1978 (April) Causing damage estimated at a total of $1.5 million, a fire at the Jamison shops caused extensive fire damage to Youngs. It caused fire, smoke or water damage to Boutique 23, the Civic Permanent Building Society, Doug Baz Man’s Shop, Hendersons, Jays, Macdonalds, Mansours, Marineland and Sussan’s. The Coles New World store suffered water damage and was flooded.
When the centre was rebuilt/refurbished, in spite of rumblings from politicians and assembly members about enclosing public space, the opportunity was taken to enclose the open areas and install heating and cooling (approval having been received a week before the fire).
1978 (April) The first leases for blocks in southwest Evatt were offered for sale.
15,000 brown trout fingerlings were released into Lake Ginninderra.
1978 (July) Stage-2 of the Belconnen Mall; featuring the “Centre Stage area”, a spiral staircase, a 23-person glass lift and an additional 60 traders was opened.
1978 (July) With the impending opening of the new covered markets, the temporary Belconnen markets in Oatley Court was closed.
1978 (July) The permanent, covered, $300,000 Belconnen Retail Market (fruit and vegetable markets) opened at the Belconnen Way end of Lathlain Street.
1978 (July) With the $14.8 million stage 1 completed, progressive occupation of Benjamin Offices commenced with 400 Immigration and Ethnic Affairs staff moving in.
1978 (July) The almost completed West Canberra Australian Football Club (Magpies) at Kippax was opened for a two-day public inspection and membership drive.
1978 (July) The rebuilt/refurbished and enclosed Jamison Shopping Centre was reopened.
1978 (August) Administration staff from Belconnen and students from the annex at Lyneham occupied the first stage of the Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (now CIT Bruce).
1978 (August) Taking sewage from the south and central Canberra that previously went to Weston Creek, the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre was completed and commenced operating.
1978 (September) The Ginninderra Community Council made public part of a report to the NCDC. The report criticised the proposed development around Lake Ginninderra foreshores and along the Ginninderra Creek corridor.
1978 Construction was commenced of the $1.5 million Belconnen Bus Interchange.
1978 (October) The Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (now CIT Bruce) was inaugurated by Sir Zelman Cowan, Governor-General of Australia.
1978 (October) With the final stage of the initial Belconnen Mall construction completed, the centre was officially opened by the Minister for the Capital Territory, Robert Paul (Bob) Ellicott.
1978 The Kippax ‘temporary’ Public Library opened in transportable buildings adjoining the almost completed Sportsworld.
1978 (October) Although not fully functional, the Belconnen Bus Workshop facility was opened.
1978 (November) Copland College was officially opened by Kenneth Lionel (Ken) Fry, Member for Fraser
1978 First settlers in the suburb of south Evatt.
1979 (January) The Kippax Sportsworld (Fitness Centre & Pool) was opened.
1979 (January) After years of delays and design reviews, built by Civil and Civic & designed by John Andrews International, the Belconnen Bus Interchange was opened amid persistent controversy.
1979 (February) Fraser Primary School, designed by Collard, Clarke and Jackson, opened to the first intake of students.
1979 (March) Designed by Gordon M. Jenkins & associates and built by Citra Constructions Ltd. Calvary Hospital was blessed for the Little Company of Mary by the most Reverend Edward Clancy, D.D. Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn and officially opened by the Prime Minister, John Malcolm Fraser.
Xavier Building was named after Mother Xavier Lynch, Little Company of Mary. Marian Building was named for the Little Company of Mary spirit.
The adjoining Bruce Service Hostel was completed.
1979 Development of the Emu Ridge Flats (designed by Daryl Jackson) and Town Housing (designed by Graham Gunn) was commenced.
1979 (August) Building D, Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (now CIT Bruce) was occupied.
1979 (September) Housing 250 buses undercover, the Belconnen Bus Depot opened.
1979 (October) The sewerage tunnel to divert flow from the Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre was completed.
1979 (October) Building D of the Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (now CIT Bruce) was officially opened.
1979 With all flow diverted to LMWQCC, the Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre closed.
1979 (December) The first stage of the Belconnen Labor Club was completed and opened by Former Prime Minister, Edward Gough Whitlam.
1980 (January) First meeting of the Belconnen Toastmasters Club.
1980 The second stage of the Belconnen Labor Club was commenced.
1980 Charnwood High School completed.
1980 An integral link in the elevated pedestrian network between the bus interchange and Belconnen Mall, the Belconnen Churches Centre on the corner of Benjamin Way and Joynton Smith Drive was completed.
1980 Construction was commenced in Chandler Street (opposite Cameron Offices) of the Northern Suburbs Rugby Union Club.
1980 (May) Including a pre-School and a health clinic, Miles Franklin Primary School in west Evatt was completed and handed over.
1980 (june) The $33 million stage 2 of the Benjamin Offices was completed. Various government departments moving in.
1980 Calvary Public Hospital Accident and Emergency department opened.
1980 First settlers in the suburb of Florey.
1980 (October) In a House of Representatives election Kenneth Lionel (Ken) Fry (ALP) for Fraser (which includes Belconnen) was re-elected .
1980 (November) A white-water slide, 28 metres high (credited as the tallest slide in the world) opened at the Macquarie pool.
1981 (January) With a price tag of $6.3 million, The Australian Institute of Sport National Indoor Sports Centre, designed by Phillip Cox (now known as the AIS Arena), was opened by the Prime Minister, John Malcolm Fraser.
1981 (February) The West Belconnen (Charnwood) Fire Station, designed by Terry Dorrough, was opened.
1981 (May) Built for the NCDC, designed by Devine, Erby and Mazlin Pty. Ltd., the Bruce College of Technical And Further Education (now CIT Bruce) Building F; School of Building Studies and Building H; College Centre and Library were officially opened by Wallace Clyde (Wal) Fife, Minister for Education.
1981 Canberra’s population was 226,400 and the population of Belconnen was 76,300.
1981 The $2.89 million extension of William Hovell Drive from Coulter Drive to Kingsford Smith Drive was started.
1981 (August) Athol Williams of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association met, in the original Belconnen Mall Childcare Centre, with employees of the retail establishments in the Mall to discuss the divisive issue of retail trading hours.
1981 (September) Built on the site of the former Emu Bank homestead, the Belconnen Public Library, designed by Robin Gibson, was opened by Sir Zelman Cowan, Governor-General of Australia.
1981 (November) Charnwood High School was officially opened by Wallace Clyde (Wal) Fife, Federal Minister for Education.
1982 (March) John Knight Memorial Park named to commemorate the late Senator John William Knight (1943-1981), who, as chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory, did much to ensure the preservation of the Lake foreshore.
1982 The Belconnen Soccer Club acquired the former Belconnen Way Hotel.
1982 (November) The remodelled water slide at Macquarie pool opened.
1983 (January) First meeting of the Benjamin Toastmasters Club.
1983 First settlers in the suburbs of Bruce, Belconnen and McKellar.
1983 (March) The Australian Institute of Sport – Tennis and Gymnastics Training Halls and Indoor Tennis Courts was opened by John Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister.
1983 (March) Kenneth Lionel Fry (ALP )re-elected in Fraser.

1983 (March) The picket line established by the Trades and Labor Council & the Teachers Federation at the Radford College site was withdrawn allowing commencement of the bulk earthworks.
1983 (April) From planning that commenced some nine years earlier the Foundation Stone for Radford College was laid by Bishop Cecil Warren.
1983 (July) The Australian Institute of Sport, Indoor Swimming Hall, designed by Daryl Jackson, was completed.
1984 (February) Designed by Phillip Cox, Radford College opened for the first intake of students, numbering 235. It was was dedicated by Reverend Owen Dowling, Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn and officially opened by Sir Ninian Stephen, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

1984 (May) Belconnen HasH House Harriers have the first run from Labor Club.
1984 (November) The Australian Institute of Sport – Frank Stewart Training Centre was opened by the Minister for Territories and Local Government, Thomas Reid Uren.
!984 (December) John Langmore elected to seat of Fraser.
1985 (July) The Australian Institute of Sport – Sports Science & Medicine Building was officially opened by John Joseph Brown, Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism
1985 (October) The Australian Institute of Sport, Halls of Residence and Administration Centre were opened by the Prime Minister, Robert James Lee Hawke.
1985 (December) An agreement was reached between the Commonwealth Government, the Canberra Commercial Development Authority and a prospective purchaser for the sale of the Belconnen Mall.
1986 Commenced in 1984, the second stage of Radford College was completed.
1986 (February-March)

The Minister for Territories, Gordon Glen Denton Scholes, by notice in the Commonwealth gazette of this date, abolished the Canberra Commercial Development Authority (operators of the Belconnen Mall).

The Commonwealth Government completed the 87 million dollar sale, agreered to in December 1985, of the Belconnen Mall to the joint venture partnership of the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund Investment Trust and the Westfield Trust (Westfield Property Group).

1986 (March) Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Uni of Canberra) opened the Computer Centre (Building 10).
1986 (July) Canberra’s first community-based outdoor recreation field was opened at Holt. The enclosed field was provided by and will be maintained by the West Belconnen Leagues Club for community organisations.
1986 Canberra’s population was 261,900 and the population of Belconnen was 84,500.
1986 (October) The suburb of Lawson (named for Henry Lawson (1867-1922) [Short story writer and poet], with a street theme:- the works of Henry Lawson) was gazetted.
(But it still has not been settled)
1987 Belconnen’s first roundabout was constructed at John Cleland Crescent and Connah Street Florey.
1987 (February) Lake Ginninderra College was opened.
1987 Calvary Private Hospital opened.
1987 (July) John Vance Langmore (ALP) for Fraser and Roslyn Joan Kelly (ALP) for Canberra were re-elected to the House of Representatives.
1987 (July) Florey Shopping Centre was completed and occupied.
1987 (August) Kaleen Group Centre was completed and occupied.
1987 The Belconnen Community Centre was completed and handed over.
1988 Canberra’s 75th Anniversary year.
1988 Built for Dominic and Frank de Marco, stage 2 of the Charnwood Neighbourhood Shopping Centre (the two storey Fadco Building), was completed.
1988 (July) Robert Francis (Bob) McMullan (ALP) was selected under section 15 of the Australian Constitution to replace Senator Susan Maree Ryan who had resigned in January.
1988 Situated beside what would later become Margaret Timson Park and providing a mixture of offices and retailing Swanson Court and Northpoint Plaza were completed and occupied.
1988 Charnwood Primary School was finally provided with a hall to alleviate the congestion in the small general-purpose area.
1988 (October) Four Bills related to the Self-Government of the Australian Capital Territory were introduced into the House of Representatives.
1988 (December) The “Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988”.
The “Australian Capital Territory (Elections) Act 1988”.
The “Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988”.
And the “Australian Capital Territory (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988”.
were assented to by the Governor-General of Australia.
1989 (January) The winding up and disbandment of the National Capital Development Commission was completed.
1989 (February) Florey Primary School opened.
1989 (March) An election was held employing a modified d’Hondt system to elect 17 Members to the first Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory.
1989 Refurbishment of Westfield Shoppingtown (the former Belconnen Mall) commenced.
1989 (May) Following elections on 4th March, contested by 117 candidates, the first sitting of the new Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory took place.
1989 A suspension bridge for pedestrians and bikes was constructed across Belconnen Way linking Bruce with the Aranda playing fields.
1990 (January) The Canberra College of Advanced Education became the University of Canberra.
1990 (January) First meeting of the ‘Kippax Clique’ Toastmasters Club.
1990 (March) Belconnen’s telephone numbers were increased to 7 digits;
25# ####
1990 (March) In a House of Representatives election sitting members John Vance Langmore (ALP) for Fraser was re-elected.
1990 (March) The University of Canberra, Nursing Science (Building 12) and the International Centre for Mathematics Enrichment were opened.
1991 Calvary Public Hospital Accident and Emergency department converted to 24-hour operation.
1992 (January) Belconnen Community Council incorporated
1992 (February) An election was held employing a modified d’Hondt system to elect 17 Members to the second ACT Legislative Assembly.
Featured the world's larget ballot paper.
1992 (March) The University of Canberra, Information Sciences and Engineering Building (Building 11), designed by Romaldo Giurgola were occupied. 9000 students were enrolled.
1992 (November) A variation to the Territory Plan was passed that classified some land to the west of Charnwood and Macgregor as ‘defined land’.
1993 (March) In a House of Representatives election the sitting member John Vance Langmore (ALP) for Fraser was re-elected.
Sitting Senators Margaret Elizabeth Reid (Liberal) and Robert Francis (Bob) McMullan (ALP) were re-elected.
1993 (August) Built for ACT Capital Works, designed by Allen, Jack and Cottier, Canberra Institute of Technology (Bruce Campus) Building B; School of Electrical and Electronic Studies, was officially opened by Rosemary Follett, Chief Minister.
1993 (September) Built for ACT Capital Works, designed by Allen, Jack and Cottier, Canberra Institute of Technology (Bruce Campus) Building E; Rural Training Centre, was officially opened by William George Hayden, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
1993 (September) Pursuant to the un-numbered variation to the Territory Plan of November 1992 the suburb of Dunlop (named for Sir Edward (“Weary”) Dunlop (1907-1993) [Doctor and war veteran], with a street theme:- inventors, inventions & artists) was gazetted.
1994 (January) Work commenced on a bypass dam for the Lower Molonglo Water Control Centre to store excess inflow during storm events for full treatment at a more convenient time.
1994 (March) Margaret Timson Park, commemorating Margaret Timson A.M. (1941-1993), first ACT Woman of the Year, 1990. Was dedicated by Rosemary Follett, Chief Minister.
1994 Calvary Hospital Maternity wards opened.
1994 (September) The Ginninderra Wetlands Care Group was established.
1994 First settlers in the suburb of Dunlop.
1994 (September) A fire caused extensive damage to one wing of the Flynn Primary School.
1994 (November) Construction of the LMWQCC bypass dam was completed.
1995 (February) An election was held employing the Hare-Clark system to elect 17 Members in 3 electorates to the third ACT Legislative Assembly.
Belconnen was included in Ginninderra.
1995 (May) A fire in the Screenings and Incineration Building at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre caused about $3 million damage and prevented sludge incineration for 3 months; a fallback treatment by Bio Recycle of centrifuging and windrow drying before carting off site, was employed whilst repairs were completed.
1995 (May) The Westfield Shoppingtown (formerly the Belconnen Mall) commenced construction of a $14 million entertainment complex including an eight-screen cinema, interactive indoor games site (Intencity), variety stores and restaurants.
1995 (November) Charnwood High School closed.
1996 (January) As foreshadowed in October 1995, the Melba Health Centre was closed.
1996 (February) Ginninderra High School was combined with whatever was left over from the former Charnwood High School to form Ginninderra District High.
1996 (February) Robert Francis McMullan resigned his Senate seat to contest the House of Representatives election.
1996 (March) A federal election was held that resulted in a change of Government with the election of the John Winston Howard Liberal / National Party of Australia Government.
Locally in the House of Representatives, John Vance Langmore (ALP) in Fraser retained his seat.
1996 (March) Building 15, the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory / Freshwater Research Centre at the University of Canberra was occupied. Student enrolments were 8655.
1996 (April) The buildings comprising the former Melba Health Centre were demolished.
1996 (June) The Australian Institute of Sport – Sports Visitor Centre, designed by Daryl Jackson & Alastair Swayn, was opened by the Federal Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government, Warwick Leslie Smith.
1996 Calvary Hospital Residence Building A, named after Sr Mark Maher of The Little Company of Mary, was opened.
Rotary Cottage at Calvary Hospital was opened.
1996 Designed by Romaldo Giurgola, The Vice Chancellor’s Residence at The University of Canberra, was completed.
1997 (February) A by-election to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives for the seat of Fraser caused by the December resignation of John Vance Langmore (ALP) returned Steven John Dargavel (ALP).
1997 (April) The Charnwood Inn was sold to the Canberra Labor Club.
It commenced trading as the Ginninderra Labor Club in mid July.
1997 The Calvary Clinic opened providing co-located specialist services in a modern environment
1997 (October) The Ginninderra Labor Club was officially opened by Mr. Kim Beazley, leader of the Australian Labor Party.
1998 The communities of Melba and Spence decided to consolidate the two primary schools to form the Mount Rogers Community school.
1998 Hyson Green – Calvary Private Hospital’s mental health unit was opened.
1998 (October) In a House of Representatives election the sitting members Robert Francis (Bob) McMullan (ALP) for Fraser (ALP) in Canberra, was re-elected.
1998 (December) The Kippax Group Centre was refurbished
1999 Vine plantings commenced around Stockdill Drive Holt and Pine Ridge.
1999 Major redevelopment/refurbishment of Calvary Private Hospital was commenced.
2000 (March) In a late-night sitting, by nine votes to eight, the Legislative Assembly approved the joint venture partnership between Actew and AGL.
2000 (June) Construction of ABSHouse commenced.
2000 The old convent building at Calvary Hospital was named after Sr Josephine O’Shannassy, Little Company of Mary.
2000 (September) Overcoming imported turf problems, the Bruce Stadium played host to the Olympic Football (soccer) competitions.
2000 (December) Entry to the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station was altered to reflect changes caused by development of the surrounding suburbs. Many of the former disused residences were removed.
2001 Woolworths at the Kippax Fair extended their supermarket building up to Kippax Place.
2001 (April) To commemorate the Centenary of Federation a Public Performance Space was opened in Margaret Timson Park and a ten-year Time Capsule was buried.
2001 (June) The controversy plagued Kippax Fitness Centre and Pool was permanently closed. Improvement notices had been served in early April.
2001 The Oncology Clinic at Calvary Hospital was named after Sr Zita Mary Lake, Little Company of Mary.
2001 (October) An election was held employing the Hare-Clark system to elect 17 Members in 3 electorates to the fifth ACT Legislative Assembly.
2001 (November) In a House of Representatives election the sitting member Robert Francis (Bob) McMullan (ALP) for Fraser, was re-elected.
2001 (N0vember) The first sitting of the fifth ACT Legislative Assembly took place.
Belconnen resident Jon Stanhope became ACT Chief Minister, and another Belconnen resident Wayne Berry became Speaker.
2002 (February) Designed by Woods Bagot, ABSHouse was opened by the Federal Treasurer, Peter Howard Costello.
2002 (March) The University of Canberra enrolled 9010 students for the year.
2002 The progressive refurbishment, demolition/reconstruction of the remaining Benjamin Offices was commenced
2002 Construction of the Canberra International Sports & Aquatic Centre on the corner of Eastern Valley Way and College Street was commenced.
2003 (January 18) A major bushfire, originating in NSW, which had already devastated extensive rural pastures & forests and several south side areas around Duffy, reached West Belconnen; it burnt into the western section of the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre, destroying some equipment, and up to the rangers residence and the fences of the Strathnairn property.
2003 (March) The University of Canberra opened buildings 22 & 23, the UC Innovation Centre.
2003 (April) The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs occupied stage 1 of the replacement building in Chan Street.
2003 (April) Centred on Belconnen, a Canberra North Branch of the National Seniors Association was formed and incorporated.
2003 (May) Budgeted at $850,000 the refurbishment of Higgins shops was commenced.
2003 (May) The Urban Services Minister William James (Bill) Wood officiated at the launch of the refurbished Belconnen Library forecourt. The artworks comprised a replacement sculpture and two murals.
2003 (May) The construction of a new $8.65 million Joint Emergency Services Centre to be built near the Winchester Police Centre was announced. Based on studies that commenced in January 1998 the centre was proposed as a replacement for the aging Police, Fire and Ambulance stations then located at the other end of Lathlain Street.
2003 (June) A plaque was unveiled at the Cameron Offices by the Minister for Finance and Administration, Senator Nicholas Hugh Minchin, to commemorate the refurbishment/demolition/desecration of the buildings.
2003 (November) Westfield Trust acquired the remaining 50% of the Westfield Shoppingtown Belconnen; property previously owned by the Commonwealth Property Fund.
2004 (January) Designed by Peter Hunt and Associates, the Canberra International Sports & Aquatic Centre opened for Business. Features included:- a steam room, a water slide, a spar pool, a dry courts area, a hydrotherapy pool supported by a sports medicine centre, three gym and aerobics areas, a childcare centre and a coffee shop.
2004 (March) The University of Canberra enrolled 9010 students for the year.

2004 (August) In a House of Representatives election the sitting members Robert Francis (Bob) McMullan (ALP) for Fraser was re-elected.
2004 (October) An election was held employing the Hare-Clark system to elect 17 Members in 3 electorates to the sixth ACT Legislative Assembly.
In Ginninderra three ALP members and two Liberals were returned.
2004 (November) First Belconnen Festival Held on Saturday 13
2004 (November) The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs occupied stage 2 of the replacement building in Chan Street.
2005 (June) The Royal Australian Navy decommissioned the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station.
2005 (July) An announcement was made by the Education Minister, Katherine Ruth (Katy) Gallagher, that the Ginninderra District High School would be closed at the end of the year and be replaced with a $40 million pre - 10 ‘super school’ for around 1100 students.
2005 (August) The product of over a year of meetings, the new, permanent, Kippax Public Library was opened by Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister.
2005 (November) Site preparation commenced for residential development in sections 105 to 108 Bruce.
2005 (November) Second Belconnen Festival held on Saturday 12
2005 (November) Belconnen fun run re-instated on Saturday 12
2006 (January) Construction of the Gungahlin Drive extension from the Barton Highway to Aranda was commenced. The contract had been awarded to the joint venture of Canberra Contractors Pty. Ltd., Guideline (ACT) Pty. Ltd. and Woden Contractors Pty. Ltd.
2006 (January) Following six months of consultation the Ginninderra District High School was officially closed and preparation for demolition commenced.
2006 (January) Funeral held for Lyall Leslie Gillespie (23rd July 1919 – 24th January 2006). Descendant of a pioneer family in the district, former Commissioner for Housing, former Canberra City Manager, local historian, former president of the Canberra & District Historical Society and author of several publications on Canberra and the local district.
2006 (February) After 3 years in the making and costing $22 million the official opening of Bunnings Belconnen Store was celebrated.
The Lathlain Street extension from behind the Markets to Belconnen Way was completed.
2006 (February) Belconnen High School and Hawker College were cleaning up rain damage in some classrooms and the oval between the schools was flooded following severe thunderstorms.
2006 (March) Demolition/rebuilding of the Jamison Shopping Centre commenced.
2006 (March) Restored by Canberra Car Club members and students from Copland College Automotive Course, the former Wilkies Pie Cart, a 1939 Chevrolet which had become a landmark around Canberra Offices between the late 30s and early 70s was on display on the lawns near Old Parliament House.
2006 (March) Refurbishment of the Belconnen Public Library commenced.
2006 (April) A Development Application was lodged for the 100-bed & 150 ILU Illawarra Retirement Trust complex on block 8 of section 87 Belconnen. (off Aikman Drive).
2006 (May) Site preparation for the 100-bed & 78 ILU Calvary Retirement Community at Haydon Drive & Jaeger Circuit, Bruce was commenced.
2006 (May) The final contract for the third stage of the Gungahlin Drive extension, from Aranda to Glenloch Interchange, was awarded to the joint venture of Guideline (ACT) Pty. Ltd., Canberra Contractors Pty. Ltd. and Woden Contractors Pty. Ltd. Work commenced immediately.
2006 (May) On the site of the former Macgregor shops, Kings Learn-to-Swim constructed a 6 lane, 20 metre learn-to-swim complex with the ability to also hold hydrotherapy sessions.
2006 (June) Deferred because of rain on the 23rd, some children from Aranda primary schools celebrated the 40th birthday of their suburb and the district with a walk around the suburb recognising how engineering aspects had altered the former rural setting.
2006 (August) Belconnen Library refurbishment was completed.
2006 (August) The Spence Community Hall aka the Rosehill Tongan Community Centre in Copland Crescent Spence suffered an estimated $300,000 fire Damage.
2006 (August) In line with a new company policy of asset refurbishment, the glass lift at Westfield Belconnen was removed for replacement.
2006 (August) A three-day exercise was conducted in the Belconnen Town Centre and at the site of the former Ginninderra District High School to test the preparedness of the Australian Federal Police and other emergency services to respond to a terrorist threat.
2006 (November) Third Belconnen Festival held on 11 November along with the second of the re-instated Belconnen Fun Run

 

To be updated as events occur

Elizabeth Burness at the very popular History tent at the Belconnen Festival held on November 11 2006


Judy the Great as compiled by

Elizabeth Burness

Mrs Julia Webb known as ‘Judy the Great’


Mrs Julia Webb was a remarkable woman. She was the type of woman every frontier town needed in colonial Australia. Nothing was too difficult for her and it was a dreadful shame that she did not live longer than her fifty seven years.

Born in 1820 in Kilkenny, Ireland, she married John Webb in 1840 and together they set off for the other side of the world as Bounty migrants on the ‘Portland’ in 1841.
Already pregnant with Arthur, the first of her ten children, including two sets of twins, it took John and Julia, known as Judy, six weeks to travel from Sydney to the Limestone Plains, (Canberra).

John and Julia stayed in the northern part of Canberra, initially at Glenwood Station, just past Hall, owned by James McCarthy who employed a substantial number of Irish Catholic workers, including John. Once they had settled in they moved to Henry Hall’s Charnwood Station, now in the suburb of Fraser, and then finally to part of the Springbank Estate near the O’Connor Shopping Centre.

By this stage Judy had established herself as a nurse, a midwife and someone who could be called on to prepare the dead for burial. She attended some horrific cases including Mrs Wells who some accounts say was attacked by her husband with an axe. Her skill as a midwife was legendary in that she reputedly never lost a child.

But early northern Canberra was no place for a nervous lady. Indeed there were very few women in the region as many of the early landowners had used assigned convict labour as mainly shepherds for their vast unfenced holdings. Judy was unfazed by these generally very lonely men although she is reputed to have carried a hand gun. She met with the notorious ‘Bungendore Bushranger’, ‘Jackey Jackey’ Westwood and thought him ‘one of nature’s gentlemen’.

But Judy did more for these lonely men than many others in the district. She ran a ‘sly grog’ shop in the 1850’s near where the suburb of Charnwood is now. In 1854 she paid for an advertisement in a Goulburn newspaper regretting the fact that she would have to charge extra for her ’grog’ because the carter had tipped over the dray on his way to Canberra and had drunk a substantial amount of the contents. Judy called herself ’Judy the Great’ in this advertisement! Sadly her business came to a halt when a disgruntled customer ‘dobbed her in’ to the police!

Judy’s life was hard and at the age of forty in 1860, she gave birth to twin boys, William and Richard, who lived less than a month. They are buried in her grave and when she died seventeen years later, of fatty degeneration of the heart, the community paid for a handsome headstone for her. She was ’esteemed by all’, not bad for a woman who could read but not write, but had served her community in many ways, and could be relied on by everyone in the frontier community that became the National Capital. Sadly her infant sons are not acknowledged on her gravestone.

This piece on Judy the great was compiled by Elizabeth Burness, Elizabeth is continuing her research and would love to hear from you. she can be contacted on 6161 6383

 

 

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