But once in a history Canberras foundation stones

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Occasional Lecture Series

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David Headon

Parliament House

Friday 15 February 2013


Canberra’s grand foundation narrative, with its abundance of aspiration, ambition and high-mindedness, is still not well-enough known today. The city did not begin as a compromise between feuding Sydney and Melbourne. Its roots comprise a far, far better yarn than that. Unlike many major cities of the world, it was not created because of war, revolution, disease, natural disaster or to establish a convict outpost. Rather, a fledgling nation lucky enough to be looking for a capital city on the cusp of a new century knuckled down to the task with flair and diligence.

This lecture will explore the fascinating cluster of stories surrounding the historic ceremonies that created the first Canberra Day a century ago.

Dr Headon is a cultural consultant and historian. Formerly Director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies in Canberra (1994-2004), he is now History and Heritage Adviser for the Centenary of Canberra in the Chief Minister’s Department, ACT Government, and Adviser to Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport and Multicultural Affairs.

Dr Headon is curator of an exhibition entitled ‘But once in a history’: Canberra’s foundation stones and naming ceremonies, 12 March 1913, currently on display at Parliament House until 3 April 2013.

Admission free—bookings not required
Enquiries to Senate Procedure Office
Phone: (02) 6277 3072
Email: research.sen@aph.gov.au

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