To mark the centenary of federation and a celebration of the close historical and cultural links which exist between Australia and the United Kingdom a proposal was made for a Magna Carta Monument to be erected "as a commemoration of Freedom under the Law"
This was accepted and Magna Carta Place (close to Old Parliament House) was dedicated by the Hon. Sir Gerard Brennand, the Chief Justice of Australia, on 12 October 1997 - the 700th anniversary of the sealing by King Edward I of the 1297 issue of Magna Carta. An original copy of this document is on display in (New) Parliament House. See my separate review of this famous document
A 1215/16 version of Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English king, King John, by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers and protect their rights.
The Magna Carta Monument was a 2000 centenary of federation gift from the people of Britain to the people of Australia.
The Monument pays tribute to Magna Carta (the Great Charter), as the document which laid the foundation for much of the British system of government and which played a part in developing the United Nation’s human rights instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Chapter 29 (other chapters less relevant nowadays) of Magna Carta states “No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell, or deny or delay right or justice”.
This chapter is recorded in Latin around the copper canopy of the rotunda while inlaid in brass into the rotunda floor are the words "Equality. Freedom. Trial by Jury. Justice. Rule of Law."
Magna Carta is now seen as a traditional mandate for trial by jury, justice for all, accountable government and no arbitrary imprisonment. These rights and others from Magna Carta have been enshrined in the Australian constitution.
The images on the monument are taken from medieval documents and convey values and principles still relevant to today's society.
While not a particularly stunning monument it is certainly worth a look if you are in the area.
This is the larger of the two Hellenic Clubs in Canberra, ACT, Australia.
It is a well appointed spacious club with a small dance floor tucked around the corner where a variety of music is played....depends on when you come.
We were there twice...a nice enough meal on the Friday night and for a bit of dancing on our way to the airport on Sunday morning.
There was a cloak room where we were able to leave our luggage and our hats.
All dining facilities are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
And for that 'little flutter' there are poker (gaming or slot ) machines awaiting you.
If you are a visitor you need ID and to take out temporary membership...keep your slip as the membership lasts for a while.
people take their kids...not in my day...but times change!
The photo does not show much of the club but pop in anyway....not a bad club.
You are reading about Canberra, the capital of Australia.
We stayed in the Crowne Plaza Hotel and walked out of our door and there was the City Walk....a paved pedestrian area just waiting for us....I enjoyed Canberra CBD....it was pleasant...spacious...and not too crowded...and I liked the shops. And for the ladies there are some rather nice dress shops. We went into the arcade and between Myers and David Jones (department stores)....just up the elevator we found a cafe where we enjoyed some hot soup.
After a light lunch we continued our stroll and found the bus station...not one place but where the buses lined up along the streets and we then took a ride in the 2013 special free bus which took us to the main places of significance (if you read my intro you will find a link to all the special places and the bus).
There are some really nice cafes ...our Canberra VT meet, wabat showed us the best one by the way....see my tip on Cafe Essen....easy to find...I only have a couple of Canberra reviews.
There was also a merry-go- round and an ice skating rink....and some quite delightful carved figures , the Canberra Times Fountain and at the south -west end on Binara Street you will find the Canberra Casino....music Friday and Saturday nights in a disco type place but NO slot (gaming) machines.
Canberra in The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the place where the politicians go to do their 'parliamentary thing' My memory tells me that both Sydney and Melbourne were vying for this honour so they built Canberra in order to settle the dispute.
You might enjoy a virtual trip though to the town of Tenterfield known as "The Birthplace of Our Nation" - Sir Henry Parkes delivering his famous Federation Speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts on 24th October 1889. This Speech ultimately led to the Federation of all Australian States on January 1st 1901.
there is a little town named after Sir Henry as well if you enjoy these little virtual detours come with me to Parkes
But if you want the best information on Canberra...well researched combined with excellent photography do visit the pages of VT member wabat.....just follow this link and then go to the reviews he has written.
You can read what I have to say as well if you wish...but Albert has done it so well
After a number of years fundraising and having (after seven years of asking) secured land from the Federal Government the Canberra Scots set about building a statue to the memory of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns. No sooner had work on the statue commenced in 1935 then a bill for £4 10s, being the first annual land rent, arrived from the Government. This affront was not going to be taken lightly and the quick thinking and "generous" Scots promptly dispatched a honeyed note (or was it a poisoned chalice?) to the Government offering the statue to the people of Australia. The Government couldn’t refuse and on accepting it accepted that it had to pay land rent to itself. The canny Scots had their Burns statue and had outfoxed the government.
Robert or Rabbie Burns is surely one of Scotland's most famous sons and I imagine few readers here would not have heard his most famous ballad, sung the world over to welcome in the new year.
Auld Lang Syne
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
The anniversary of Robert Burns' birth, 25th January, 1759, which was originally a gathering of a few of his friends to mourn his passing, is now remembered throughout the world as Burns Night when the haggis ("the chieftain' o' the puddin' race", yes he wrote a poem about a haggis too!) is eaten, whisky is drunk and his poems are read amongst friends.
Robert Burns was more than a poet, he was a man of the people, and his powerful and meaningful commentary on the human condition have assured his place in the hearts and culture of Scotland for posterity.
This statue, commissioned by the Canberra Highland Society and Burns Club and located on the corner of Canberra Avenue and National Circuit is the second oldest public sculpture in Canberra (after Bellona), and the first to have a permanent home. Burns' statutes can be found across the world (eight in Australia) where-ever Scots have set up home. They, as much as commemorating Burns, are monuments to Scottishness.
The memorial was designed by Sydney architects, J Shedden Adam and incorporates the statue designed by John Samuel Davies. The memorial draws heavily from the Scottish-American War Memorial in Edinburgh, and depicts a contemplative Burns in front of a pink granite wall, on which are four panels showing scenes and a verse from Burns’s poems – ‘John Anderson My Jo’, ‘To a Mouse’, ‘Tam O’Shanter’ and ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’. The statue and panels were cast in Italy in 1934.
This is an Australian Government run (via the Australian Sports Commission) sports training facility providing skilled coaches, world class facilities and sports science /medicine services for the Country’s top/elite athletes with a view to producing world class athletes for international competition.
The Institute offers 36 sport programs in 26 sports, with around 700 scholarships now offered annually to Australia’s finest sportsmen and sportswomen.
As I work nearby I often have a walk around the area which affords a pleasant stroll though not something I would recommend unless you wish to go on a tour of the Institutes facilities. My interest is not sufficient to warrant payment of the $18 entrance fee so I can’t personally comment on the tours.
Comments from others who have an interest in Australian sports (Olympic sports mainly) speak highly of the tours and even more so when they get to see one of their sporting heroes up close in training – as is possible. As it's not a zoo seeing famous athletes in action is not guaranteed! Tours include access to a sports museum – SPORTEX – which includes hands on displays and an opportunity to try out some of the sports for yourself.
The attached pictures are from the Institute grounds.The Gymnast and Basketball player sculptures (picture three and four attached) are two of three figures commissioned for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The third one, a Sprinter, can be seen at the Sydney Olympic Park. All three were on top of the AMP Tower in Sydney during the 2000 Games (that's the big tower in the centre of Sydney).
For those interested AIS athlete guided tours operate daily at 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm and last around 90minutes.
There is a gift shop and café on site – When I called in today – 6 June 2013 – I found the café is closed for renovations – A coffee cart with drinks and a limited prepared food selection replaces the café on a temporary basis.
The Institute’s facilities are available for the public – perhaps seeing elite athletes at play will inspire you to join in (or hide in shame as the case may be)!
Entrance Fee: (For tours) $18 adult (children $10), Seniors and full-time students $13.00, Family (two adults, three children) $49.00.
If you are interested in Questacon (good for children) and Cockington Green (which I highly recommend – see separate tip) you may want to consider a 3in1 ticket which based on full adult prices gives you a saving of around $10 per person and you can return to one of the attractions free within 14 days.
I can do no better than cite the wording on the plaque at the memorial – references to pictures are my insertions:
“This memorial was dedicated on 18 January 2006 by Mr Jon Stanhope MLA, ACT Chief Minister
On Saturday 18 January 2003, the bushfires which had been burning in the hills to the west and south-west of Canberra for more than a week reached the perimeter of the city. Four people lost their lives , nearly five hundred homes were destroyed, countless pets and other animals were killed, and there was widespread damage to rural properties, parks, forests, gardens and urban infrastructure.
This Memorial has been commissioned by the ACT Government to acknowledge the impact of the 2003 bushfires, mark the process of recovery, and thank the many organisations and individuals who played crucial roles in the fire fighting and recovery efforts.
The memorial is designed by Canberra artists, Tess Horwitz Tony Steel and Martyn Jolly and incorporates elements requested by the ACT community. It is a journey from the day of the fire, through the process of recovery, to the honouring of memory.
The entrance memorial walls (pictures 1) are made from the community’s salvaged and inscribed bricks (picture 2)which contain messages of grief and gratitude. Beyond the walls, a site framed by a grove of casuarinas contains red glass and metal forms (pictures 3 and 4) that refer to the force of the firestorm and the lightning strikes that sparked the main fires.
An avenue leads to an amphitheatre enclosing a pond and bubbling spring. The glass columns bordering the pond (picture 5) contain details from photos provided by the community which speak of memory and human resilience. “
The design of the surrounding landscape and the stream are an integral part of the memorial. Most of the plant species selected by the artists are native, many indigenous to the surrounding area.
The original memorial did not contain the names of the four people who died in the fires. Bushfire-affected families subsequently took it upon themselves to add their own heartfelt addition to the Memorial - a small plain white plaque with just the four names thereon. This you can see just outside the entrance walls.
While I think the memorial is tasteful and appropriate to what happened in Canberra in 2003, this is not a view shared by everyone – as might be expected in the circumstances. Some consider it too little too late – took three years, some consider it not necessary at all and some believe that as the government has never accepted blame for errors made at the time of the fires the construction of the memorial added insult to injury. Several residents directly impacted by the fires chose to boycott a 10th anniversary function in 2013.
For whatever reason the government seems to have chosen to underplay the memorial to the extent that there are no signposts for it and that the address on the government site is incorrect.
For me this is one of the best of Canberra’s abundant memorials and I encourage you to drop in and reflect.
The Memorial’s actual location is close to the intersection of Cotter and Uriarra roads. Take the Uriarra Road at this intersection for about 100 metres and turn left into a small car park at Mr Stromolo Forrest Park. It about 20 metres walk from the car park.
Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) he was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. The statue was erected in 1935 at the corner of Canberra Avenue and National Circuit, Forrest Canberra.
The statue's sculptor was John S. Davie and behind the statue are four friezes with his written quotes on a plaque. Robert Burns’s statues are all over the world in different cities.
In January 2003, Canberra suffered a major natural disaster, when bushfires which had been burning in the mountain ranges to the west for a week, were fanned by a fierce hot westerly and burned through plantation forests and grasslands, entering the outer suburbs on 18 January.
Over the next ten hours, four people died and more than 500 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, requiring a significant relief and reconstruction effort.
On part of the burned lands, one of Walter Burley Griffin's visions for the city was able to be realised. The 'continental arboretum' would showcase iconic trees from all over the world, for display and for preservation.
The design was agreed in 2005, and the now bare hills rising directly to the west on
Lake Burley Griffin are now planted with trees, graced with a grand new Visitor's Centre.
On the hilltops are lookouts, sculpture are artfully placed and pathways have been laid out through the plantings. A ceremonial way zigzags its way from the entrance to the Visitors Centre, and is already a place for visiting dignitaries to plant trees commemorating their visits
On a more prosaic level, the arboretum provides educational and cultural opportunities, will support research and conservation.
The Arboretum is open seven days a week from 6 am until 8.30 pm daily during daylight savings and 7 am until 5.30 pm during non-daylight savings. There is a cafe on site. Entry is free but you have to pay for parking.
Every year, in early March, many of the iconic buildings of the capital are illuminated after dark with projected artworks and images. The event is free, and runs from dark until 11pm (later on Saturdays)
Venues illuminated include:
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Canberra Theatre Centre
Gallery of Australian Design
Museum of Australian Democracy
National Archives of Australia
National Film and Sound Archive
National Gallery of Australia
National Library of Australia
National Museum of Australia
National Portrait Gallery
National Zoo & Aquarium
Royal Australian Mint
Major General William Bridges, the first commandant of the Military College Duntroon and the first commander of the Australian Imperial Forces, was killed by a sniper early in the Gallipoli campaign.
Bridges was born on 18 February 1861 at Greenock, Scotland. Having failed to graduate from the Royal Military College in Canada he came to Australia and joined the civil service in 1879. In 1885 entered the military where he had a meteoric rise through the ranks and became the first chief of the Australian general staff in January 1909. Within a year, Bridges became the Australian representative on the Imperial General Staff in London but in 1910 was recalled to found Australia's first military college. He was promoted to brigadier general and the college, Duntroon, opened in June 1911. Bridges retained this post until his appointment as Inspector General of the Australian Army in May 1914 – the army’s top post.
When the First World War began Bridges was given the task of raising an Australian contingent for service in Europe - he named it the Australian Imperial Force and was appointed its commander. Bridges' division was the first ashore at ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915.
Bridges was not a man to get the best out of his subordinates and he was disliked by most of his staff. Yet he did share the hardships of his men, and made a point of daily excursions on which he routinely ignored enemy fire and constantly exposed himself to danger. On 15 May a sniper's bullet severed his femoral artery and he died three days later on board a hospital ship.
Bridges was made a Knight Companion of the Bath (KCB) by the King the day before he died, becoming the first Australian general to earn a knighthood. His body was returned to Australia, one of only two dead Australian soldiers to return home (the other being The Unknown Soldier entombed at the Australian War Memorial). Bridges was given a state funeral at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne and buried on 3 September 1915 on the slopes of Mount Pleasant, in a grave designed by the architect of Canberra, Walter Burley Griffin.
Bridges grave is located on the left hand side of General Bridges Drive as it leads to the top of Mt Pleasant. Do stop for a minute on your way up to the Mt Pleasant lookout and the Royal Australian Artillery Memorial.
(The attached picture is a Wikipedia open source picture).
Also referred to as the Prisoner of War National Memorial
Changi Chapel, one of thirteen built by Prisoners of War (POWs) in Changi Prison Camp, Singapore was built as ‘Our Lady of Christians Roman Catholic Chapel’, with the permission of Japanese officers, from waste and scavenged materials smuggled into the camp in 1944. It was designed and built by Lieutenant Hamish Cameron-Smith, of the British Army. He was assisted by Lieutenant Hugh Simon-Thwaites and a band of volunteer labourers.
Corporal Max Lee went to Changi in 1945 with the Australian War Graves Registration Unit to help dismantle the camp. He drew plans, and took measurements of the chapel in the hope that it could be saved and brought to Australia. For decades heard he nothing more of the chapel until he was told in 1987 that it was stored in the Australian War Memorial’s warehouse at Duntroon. The chapel was subsequently rebuilt in the grounds of the Royal Military College at Duntroon and dedicated in 1988 by Sir Edward (Weary) Dunlop, a POW and surgeon in Changi, as a national memorial to all 35,000 Australians taken as POW in the Boer War, World Wars I and II and the Korean War.
The chapel is now the responsibility of the National Capital Authority and is treated as one of the set of memorials otherwise located on Anzac Parade. While most of the memorials on Anzac Parade are rich in symbolism Changi Chapel is rich in its simplicity. Nothing has been added to the original building of scrap wood and metal.
Despite the centrality of Changi and the Thai-Burma Railway in the Australian collective memory, unlike its big brother, the Australian War Memorial, the Chapel is primarily a site of personal remembrance or mourning and is visited by very few. Some writers have suggested that the fact that it remained in crates at the Australian War Memorial's store for over forty years and the fact that it was not rebuild at the War Memorial “due to lack of space” may “rather reflect tension between POW memory and traditional ‘Anzac’ values”. Sad if this is true.
When Singapore fell to Japan in February 1942 over 45,000 Allied servicemen were taken prisoner and more than 132,000 personnel from six nations were captured and imprisoned at Changi by the war’s end.
Picture 3 is a 1945 painting by POW, Richard Cochran. Roman Catholic Chapel, Changi Prison, Australian War Memorial item no. ART28914.
“The Chapel is in a tranquil, shady grove of gum trees. The landscape is intended to symbolise the original Changi site. It is a serene but sombre place that invites all who pass by to pause in silent contemplation; to reflect on the hardships and sufferings that these men and women endured. It is a simple structure, but a splendid reminder of the enduring features of men and women - faith, hope and love - which sustains them, particularly in times of adversity.” Quote taken from M. Tumarkin, ABC Radio National, 27 July 2003.
Entrance Fee: Free
While a self proclaimed Embassy this assortment (varies in size) of tents and caravans is an Embassy in name only and is rather an ongoing Aboriginal protest. It has no diplomatic status.
In April 1971 the Northern Territory Supreme Court decided against Aboriginal people and in favour of a mining company to have access to Aboriginal land. Australian common law, the justice concluded, did not recognise Aboriginal land rights.
The Embassy , established on Australia Day , 26 January 1972 by planting a beach umbrella on the lawn in front of Parliament (now Old) House was set up in response to Prime Minister McMahon’s Government’s refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights. The umbrella was soon replaced by tents and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal supporters came to protest. A loophole in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) laws allowed camping on the laws of Parliament House as long as there were less than 12 tents.
A list of fanciful demands presented to Parliament in February 1972 was rejected and police moved in removed the tents (the Federal Government having overruled the ACT law I referred to above) and arrested eight people. In October 1973 around 70 Aboriginal protesters re-established the Tent Embassy which was again destroyed in May 1974 – this time by a storm. Between 1974 and 1992 the Embassy appeared and disappeared numerous times.
In 1992, on the twentieth anniversary of its original setup, it was re-established and despite on going controversy, suspicious fires and calls for its removal (including by local Aboriginals) it has remained in existence and indeed in 1995 it obtained a heritage listing. By this stage Parliament had moved to its current building so the embarrassment of having people camping on the lawns of Parliament no longer existed.
While the personalities have changed over time the protest remains broadly the same with the protesters claim (perhaps simplified) being that they have been dispossessed of their own country – Australia – hence the need to be represented in Canberra via an Embassy similar to any other foreign country.
Over time the aims of the Embassy have moved beyond its original brief of land rights and it has served as a focal point for the broader Indigenous movement on a much broader range of issues. While generally low key and peaceful since 1992, the Embassy made front page news again in 2012 when protesters, marking the 40th anniversary of the original protests, stormed a restaurant where the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were attending a function.
Protesters welcome visitors so, if inclined, do go, sit down by the fire (Fire of Peace and Justice) and have a chat.
You won’t find this in the guide books. Perhaps it would be better placed in "Off the beaten track" but i plumped for putting it here given its closeness to the Australian War Memorial and the city centre.
While thousands of Canberrans drive past them daily I doubt if many people would even remember seeing them. I have never seen any one use them.
I refer to two park benches in the median strip of Limestone Avenue, Ainslie. One at the northern end, where Limestone Avenue meets Girrahween Street, the other at the southern end, where Batman & Quick Streets enter Limestone Avenue.
Limestone Avenue was the first ‘presentation avenue’ in Canberra and by way of gift to the city the Australian Natives Association (ANA), in 1928, lined a stretch of the median strip with native trees.
While the ANA’s intentions were much grander the Great Depression intervened, to mark the ends of the planted area in 1931-32 the ANA ended up installing the two modest art-deco ornamental benches you see today. Art-deco style was popular in Canberra (as it was elsewhere) at this time. Close by in Donaldson Street you will find another great example of art-deco architecture – Ainslie Primary School - see picture 5 attached
An interesting thing you will note is that the benches were installed facing out from the tree lined area – like bookends, if you like.
Note how the ANA is referred to as the Australian Natives Association on one plaque and Australian Native Association on the other - somewhat different connotation nowadays if not in the 1930s.
Nowadays Limestone Avenue is better known for its heavy traffic (especially at peak times) than its median strip trees (many of which have died anyway) and park benches. That said the benches do create in ones mind a sense of the formality of days gone by.
Worth a look if you are in the area.
This memorial is a vote of thanks to the United States for its assistance in World War II. The Memorial’s height and design make it one of Canberra’s best-known and most recognised monuments.
The dedication states:
In grateful remembrance
of the vital help given by the
United States of America during
the war in the Pacific 1941-1945.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
February 16, 1954
The memorial’s hollow octagonal column stands 73m tall and is made of aluminium sheeted panels mounted on a steel framework. The stylised American eagle (designed by sculptor Paul Beadle) and bronze sphere are about 11m high. On the base of the monument are two friezes, one relating the story of American combat in the Pacific and the other a profile map of the United States in copper. The column is surrounded by a water-filled moat about 3m wide. Under the dedication is a bronze wreath, carved by Walter Langcake, an Australian woodcarver and sculptor who specialised in ecclesiastical decorative arts. The wreath is in memory of those who died during World War II.
Russell Offices, headquarters of the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Defence were subsequently developed around the memorial. Russell is at one corner of the National Triangle central to Walter Burley Griffin's design for Canberra and the location is a key element in that design. Its interesting to note that original designs envisaged it being located on the centre axis between the Australian War Memorial and (Old) Parliament House – in the middle of where Lake Burley Griffin now sits.
America’s assistance during World War II was the start of what has become an enduring military relationship between the US and Australia.
The memorial is affectionately known as both The Eagle or Bugs Bunny. Take it from me, there is no need to visit it at three o’clock as there is no truth in the rumour that the eagle flaps its wings at that hour. Perhaps, though this is really a modern day Bugs Bunny supervising the operation of the Australian Defence Forces from on high.
We are in Canberra the capital of Australia...June 2013. In 2010 my daughter and I stayed 2 nights...more
The Hyatt Hotel is situated in a lovely position beside the lake and within close proximity to the...more
It was a pleasant time we had there over-all, despite the fact the hotel was undergoing renovations....more