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Study postgraduate law: the ANU Juris Doctor

And now for something completely different

By Maryann Mussared - 23 December 2016 18

Canberra map

As we head towards the end of the year, I thought some might enjoy a moment to pause and join the RiotACT in a silly game. Watching Monty Python all those years ago, my attention would be immediately focused when one of the Pythons would say with a serious or exasperated face “And now for something completely different…” because I knew something crazy or silly would eventuate.

For years my friends and I have played the Canberra suburbs alternative name game. We all know there is a reason each suburb of Canberra was named and that reason can easily be researched online. Usually a suburb will be named after a person of note, a politician, or a geographical location. But that is all a bit predictable. If John Cleese lived in Canberra, I think he would probably like this game. It goes something like this:

  • Question: Why was the suburb of Melba named Melba?
    Answer: The suburb of Melba was named after the dessert Peach Melba. This was the very favourite dessert of  a young woman called Nellie Mitchell, so she changed her name.
  • Question: Who is the suburb of Higgins called after?
    Answer: Well, depending on your age, you might say either Henry Higgins or Missy Higgins

So the challenge is for us to collectively come up with a few more alternative interpretations. I constantly add to the list, and in recent years a few new suburb names have been gazetted, including  (Emma) Thompson and Kenny (Koala). The most obvious are (Errol) Flynn; (Twiggy) Forrest, and foodies favourite Manuka (honey). If we run out of puff we can stretch the rules and creatively imagine Ainslie is named after Ainsley Gotto, but I don’t think we need to bend the rules just yet.

So here is the challenge for everyone. See what you can come up with for your suburb, or if it is too difficult, pick another suburb and give us your own zany alternative. Why not start with these fairly obvious ones: Russell, Taylor, Theodore and Dunlop and share in comments. A more difficult one is Duffy which I will reveal on the last day of the year if no-one else gets it.    

I will be delighted if anyone can come up with a whole lot more, although I do have more up my sleeve if the game slows! So I invite you to join in for a bit of end of year levity…

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
And now for something completely different
1
Leon Arundell 8:28 am
23 Dec 16
#

Q: How did Downer get its name?
A: I started home brewing there when I was short of cash. I called my brewing kit the “Downer Teal” brewery.

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2
Maryann Mussared 10:17 am
23 Dec 16
#

Leon Arundell said :

Q: How did Downer get its name?
A: I started home brewing there when I was short of cash. I called my brewing kit the “Downer Teal” brewery.

I love all the reasons people like to re-attribute the naming of their suburb!

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3
chewy14 11:38 am
23 Dec 16
#

Harrison and Ford(e) were the first suburbs to be named after the first and last names of the same person due to his services to the film industry and general popularity.

This only came about after they controversially rejected the suburbs of “Han Solo” and “Indiana Jones”.

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4
cheryanne 11:48 am
23 Dec 16
#

RIVETT because it was full of croaking frogs.
KAMBAH because my father in law tried to say Canberra but forgot to put his teeth in.

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5
Melissa Carrington 11:59 am
23 Dec 16
#

Holder was named after Barry Gibb’s and Maurice Gibb’s song ‘Hold-Her in your hand’.

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6
Maryann Mussared 3:28 pm
23 Dec 16
#

This is stretching the rules a bit but Reid was named after Chopper (Read) for his services to Australian literature. He was an Australian criminal and author. He wrote a series of semi-autobiographical fictional crime novels and children’s books.

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7
John Moulis 4:16 pm
23 Dec 16
#

You wouldn’t believe the number of interstate visitors who believe that Rudd St in Civic was named after Kevin Rudd. I had to put someone straight recently by telling them it was named after Australian literary great Steele Rudd. Also when I was at school we used to say “Pearce Shops” when telling somebody to p*ss off.

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8
No_Nose 4:42 pm
23 Dec 16
#

“Forrest” was actually the result of a typo. Walter Burley Griffin on his master plan wrote: “For rest”, envisioning that the area would be set aside for parliamentarians to have a nap and other recreation after a hard days politicking.

“Red Hill” relates to the fact that it was a well known vantage point for Soviet agents trying to photograph parliamentarians in compromising situations in the “For rest” area.

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9
Maryann Mussared 4:43 pm
23 Dec 16
#

John Moulis said :

You wouldn’t believe the number of interstate visitors who believe that Rudd St in Civic was named after Kevin Rudd. I had to put someone straight recently by telling them it was named after Australian literary great Steele Rudd. Also when I was at school we used to say “Pearce Shops” when telling somebody to p*ss off.

First time I have heard Kevin Rudd – I love it.

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10
Peter Smith 5:24 pm
23 Dec 16
#

The Canberra suburb of Coree is named after the shout ‘cooee’ (there was a typo when they first set it up – ‘o’ was replaced with ‘r’). The word “cooee” originates from the Dharug language of the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

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11
Masquara 5:49 pm
23 Dec 16
#

“Parkes” was not exactly prescient … : )

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12
Masquara 6:17 pm
23 Dec 16
#

True dis: Isabella Plains was originally “Isabella’s Plain” – but the planners decided that might lead to jokes about whether the suburb would be beautiful – and they changed it!

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13
Maryann Mussared 7:19 pm
23 Dec 16
#

I love using ‘typo’ as an excuse for why a suburb is what it is. So (Chopper) Read and Ainsley (Gotto) won’t be disqualified! You are all very good at this game. So my queries of Russell? Jane or Kurt Russell or Russell Crowe? Dunlop, after the tennis balls (no disrespect meant to the wonderful “Weary” Dunlop – I am sure he had a sense of humour). Taylor – Elizabeth or Rod, and dear Theodore, after the American President Teddy Roosevelt. Any takers for Duffy?

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14
Maryann Mussared 11:36 am
24 Dec 16
#

Facebook comments were pretty funny yesterday. The suburb we are looking at is Gordon….

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15
bruce_lord 12:11 pm
24 Dec 16
#

Those as old as me might remember “Swannee Wanniassa, Wanniassa our shopping centre”.

But I have to laugh that I live at Banks the suburb at the bottom of canberra. The only place where Banks sit at the bottom.

I also wonder if the name Banks comes from so many struggling highly mortgaged homeowners in the suburb who owe so much money to the Banks.

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