30 November 2005

Images of Canberra - The Blue Sullivan

| johnboy
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The photographer and I went for a walk along a branch of Sullivans creek. There’s a lot of beautifull photography, and a lot of very sordid graffitti to be seen along the way. More importantly Carey (my parent’s Jack Russell) got a good walk. In any event this is a tale of life in the drains.

This picture was taken under Northbourne Avenue. I was wearing a heavy coat and yes, a redneck hat.

john and carey under northbourne

The headwaters of the Blue Sullivan

Top of the Blue Sullivan

All the way along there are morlock holes contributing their flow to the Blue Sullivan.

Morlock hole

The upper reaches of the Blue Sullivan are criss crossed with these delicate bridges.

Bridge over Blue Sullivans

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What was once the Downer Club is now a gleaming planetarium


But the trees from there offer up a view.

Trees behind planetarium.

The Putt Putt Golf Course interrupts the landscape.

Putt Putt

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And then, this being Canberra, there are tennis courts and graffitti

Tennis and paint.

Someone appears to have kicked down these saplings.

Trees kicked down.

At the same point someone seems to have put to the test the idea that crossing power lines can have spectacular effect. Myth Busted!

Myth Busted

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The warning signs seem to give us the all clear. We’re not children and it wasn’t raining so hey, OK to play!

Flood warning sign

The landscaping was done in a rush so all the trees are in slightly eery lines. But the snowgums are striking.

Gum trees in a row

Here’s a nice row of oaks

row of oaks

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Pine trees round out the sets of rows.

row of pines

We liked the turned leaves along the drain.

Leaves and drain

We’re a bit worried about Ben, somone doesn’t seem to like him.

Ben Is Dead

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The back of the Tradies is about as salubrious as either the front, or interior.

Back of Tradies

It becomes obvious that we’re behind Daramalan College.

Behind Daramalan College

Carey inspects another row of trees at the back of “the barracks”.

Carey at the Back of the Barracks

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Carey takes in a lonely tree along the upper Blue Sullivan.

Carey and a tree

The old dominos building in Dickson has a rather distinctive piece of work on it.

Behind Old Dominos

The mancatcher has been working overtime, in the recent rains it appears to have caught two trolleys, someone’s gate, and a few dead animals if Carey’s interest is anything to go by.

Mancatcher and trolleys

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Tradies, meets bike path, meets Narnia.

Trees behind tradies.

Our primitive cave painters appear to have tapped their inner neanderthal.

Cave Painting

Wishfull thinking defines our neanderthals.

wishfull thinking

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Crossing under Northbourne

Carey and the Northbourne tunnel

Let’s face it. Dislike of anyone called “Sarah H” is a universal message. And I really like how someone has felt the need to mark out a “4” message.

Sarah H

Dislike of Ben is common under all the bridges near Daramalan.

Don't like ben

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Someone called Peanuts has a high opinion of himself.


Here we found more anti-Ben material. Apparently by someone called Marcus.

More Ben fan mail

The quest for love amongst drain dwellers is well away. Carly loves someone, but even she isn’t sure.

Quest for love in the drains.

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Magpie, trolley, rusty wire…

magpie and trolley

Here’s a well maintained Housing ACT property.

Window of the Bogans

Two streams join as we work our way down.

Streams join

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The photographer thought this was a chunk of petrified wood. I thought it was just a chunk of wood. Finding this weird thing growing on it’s underside proved me right but offered no insight as to what this bizarre thing is. Note the photographer’s thumb cunningly provided perspective.

Green thing on wood.

Silver Birches in winter have a beauty all their own.

Silver Birch

This looks like a partiularly determined (not to say foolhardy) set of tractor tracks to me.

Tractor tracks

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Note the reflection of the bridge in the backwater. Also the silt built up under there.

Reflections in the backwater

We liked the effect of the underside of the bridge.

Perspectives on the bridge underside

Someone is angry and having trouble expressing themselves.

Kill Blood

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In the silt the comings and goings of the lesser drain dwellers become clear.

Birdprints in the sand

The oaks arc nicely along our drain.

oaks in an arc

The view of the autumn leaves from the drain is well worthwhile.

Leaves from the drain

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TelstraYama presented itself

TelstraYama from o'connor

The White Sullivans joins our Blue Sullivans a bit further on. But the Sullivans Creek wetlands project has created a backwater here. I suspect they pump from it as the pseudo wetlands are a good couple of metres higher than any other waterflows.

wetlands feeder

The signs at the wetlands project have an interesting spelling of tributary.


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And here are the startlingly elevated wetlands.

elevated wetlands

Diverting ourselves to take in a pint at All Bar Nun we noted that the O’Connor barber’s shop has it’s own piece of Street Art with which to advertise its wares. We were uncertain if the dog was a planned part of the work.

Painted Barber's Pole

Praise God Almighty all this working has made me thirsty and All Bar Nun is a very short walk off the path.

Pints of Coopers Pale

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The public art at O’Connor shops sets irresponsible precedents of which I heartily approve.

Carefree cyclist

Someone wanted to make sure the other drain dwellers knows that Alex Csomor is gay. This legend appeared all over the bridge, in one case it includes Alex’s phone number. The photographer felt Alex had suffered enough without putting his phone number on the internet.

Alex is gay?

A Matrix fan is taking it all a little too seriously.

Welcome to the desert of the real

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The wonder of stormwater sand is overseen by a symbol beloved of teenage boys.

Dick 'n balls over sand

We find the face from the old Dominos in an earlier form.

Dominos face again.

A particularly advanced form of stencil spray painting. We couldn’t help but wondering if Aidan Bruford had moved on.

Neighbourhood Bacon

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Just underneath is a surprisingly effective work.

Purple girl

The bikepath runs through the trees next to the drain in a particularly pleasing way along

Bikepath and trees

Carey; nature versus nurture, an otherwise sensible dog wrestles her instinct to dive down holes and kill a fox.

Carey surveys the hole.

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A home entertainment system appears to have met a large amount of chinese fireworks down here in the drain.

Home entertainment meets chinese fireworks

To surprisingly beautiful effect.

Record Player after the boom

Carey takes in the reflection of the leaves in a minor backwater created by irregularities in the concrete blocks.

Carey looks at reflections

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Cold fingers make their homage to winter

winter's praise

The photographer takes a look up the trunk of a poplar

Up the poplar's trunk

Craig Collins on the other hand has left his mark on the cold fingers.

Craig Collings leaves his mark

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Carey observes the wonderful reflections that the backwaters in the displaced concrete blocks can create.

Carey and reflections

We thought this tree looked a lot like a bonsai, only it wasn’t small. So not much like a bonsai really.

Big Bonsai

The morlock holes give way to hatches as you get closer to the center.

Hatches on the drains

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It looks like a Calvin and Hobbs fan has been quick off the mark in getting to the wet concrete.

Calvin and Hobbes

Now here’s a sentiment to gain bipartisan support.

LSD for all liberals!

And the mesage “Go John” is worthy of more respect. Allthough “I do not have any money is obviously the work of scum.

Someone doesn't have any money.

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Carey takes in a piece of gross defamation with admirable equinamity.

Carey and the poo

Carey in an action pose as she leaps into the drain to provide perspective on what must surely be the world’s tiniest emergency ladder. This was a few metres back upstream from the main tributary

Very small ladder

Whoever drew this has an amazing talent. Personally I think CMAG should be digging this up and putting it on display.

Beautiful breasts

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You might not like street art, but it certainly is colourful

colourfull street art

We discovered concrete crop-circles of uncertain provenance or purpose.

concrete crop circles

The force of the recent rainfall is clearly evident here.

flood force

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And now we find the brutalism of the Sullivans Creek Settlement pond. Complete with Canberra’s greatest concentration of street art. Much more to follow.

End of the drain

And the spray boys and girls certainly lack environmental awareness.


Ever wonder where all those tennis balls down the drain ended up?

Here they are.

Tennis Balls in the queue

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Foul though it is there is no shortage of ducks in the pond.

Ducks in the settlement pond

Skirting the settling pond we came across a thouroughly painted building.

Side 1 of the cube

The reverse side of the building has had a similar treatment.

Other side of the cube.

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So how does all this graffitti turn up despite the fences? I’m glad you asked.

hole in the fence

Down in the settlement pond Kang chows down on the blue letters.

Kang eats the blue letters

We were particularly impressed with the Dark Man. Although the photographer foolishly thought it was a pirate.

Dark Man in the settlement pond

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You have to wonder if the old guy in trench coat, surrounded by tentacles, isn’t a person of some intimate experience to the author of the work.

Old pervert in sea of tentacles

Seen this before? It’s from between, and underneath, Barrry Drive.

Barry Drive

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And then the garish bar at ANU hove into view.

ANU bar

University Avenue, from The Sullivans

University Avenue

And then we have the willows which endure in the University despite the animosity of the ACT Government to the breed.

Willows in ANU

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I’m pretty sure this bench was the one where I got to third base with a girl for the very first time. I was a late starter and was 18 at the time. The photographer was extremely unhappy about taking this one.

My Favourite Bench

Hope you enjoyed the walk as much as we did!

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Great pictures. hope you go on more camera walks

Geoffco said :

The eagle is Darra logo/mascot. But I can’t explain past that… cause I have no idea why they have an eagle as their mascot.

sorry this is very late in a reply but just browsing thru old articles. daramalan has a eagle cause the word daramalan is derived from the aboriginals who lived in the area and who believed a wedgetailed eagle that flew above the was there to protect them

Samuel Gordon-Stewart1:49 pm 21 Jun 05

I can happily report that the saplings on page 3 are standing once again.


Canberra_unsung_hero8:31 am 15 Jun 05

Thanks for the info and link Samuel. Their ‘explanation’ for adopting that particular ‘logo’sounds pretty weak to me, considering it’s similarity to the eagle shown on the link I provided above.
Also, it’s almost an exact replica of the ‘logo’ Saddam Hussein used to use.

*blush* did I panic?? 😉

Samuel Gordon-Stewart12:09 am 15 Jun 05

I think this should explain the eagle (Yes, I have too much time on my hands…looking through the daramalan website after midnight to find eagle stories)
“We wanted a name that would have some bearing on our ideals as a religious congregation, that would be distinctively Australian and that would help to give the boys a spirit . . . Daramalan was chosen because it means eagle-men, the eagle . . .being a symbol used by some neighbouring aboriginal tribes to indicate the Great Spirit . . . a fitting symbol of our school and its attempt to lead our boys to God.
(College Magazine 1962, Headmaster’s Report)”

More on http://www.daramalanc.act.edu.au/ourcollege/history.htm


Canberra_unsung_hero11:16 pm 14 Jun 05

Ok … it just reminds me of this —

(without the swastika of course ).

Sam, I meant to mention we’d started up by Dickson college, thanks for pointing that out.

CUH, the eagle is the dara logo, as portrayed, if you want more explanation go ask them.

Vic, that was pretty much the imrpession we were trying to convey.

The eagle is Darra logo/mascot. But I can’t explain past that… cause I have no idea why they have an eagle as their mascot.

Canberra_unsung_hero9:55 pm 14 Jun 05
Canberra_unsung_hero9:48 pm 14 Jun 05

and what about that Eagle ? Please explain !

Samuel Gordon-Stewart9:36 pm 14 Jun 05

oops, not “standing on”, just “standing”…my typing should go through the google translator, it would make more sense that way!

Good set of photos, if you walk further back along the frain past Dickson College you can go along the outskirts of the Mt. Ainslie Nature Park.

Why didn’t you take a photo of the phone tower near the tennis courts?


Vic Bitterman9:27 pm 14 Jun 05

Truly wonderful post – well done. Having never lived in the civic region, it was all unfamiliar ground – I felt like I was along for the walk as well!!!!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart8:51 pm 14 Jun 05

Oh, and the saplings were standing on when I saw them last…I think.


Samuel Gordon-Stewart8:49 pm 14 Jun 05

The first few pictures are taken just near Dickson College…the green building in the background of pictures 2 & 4.

I know, I walk along there almost every day.


Yes, but before the ladies panic, I am very much still on the market

(and just look at the fun you could be having ladies!)

JB, I take it the photograhper was a woman?

another interesting set, thanks
Glad see that by sticking to the drains you dodged any security presence this time

Canberra_unsung_hero8:21 am 14 Jun 05

Whew! It took me 20 minutes to get through that lot…. I couldn’t help but notice Daramarlan’s ‘Logo’…..reminds me of the eagle of the Third Reich.

wow this is great! I love those rows of Pine, Oak and Gum trees.. used to call it POG when I was a kid 😀

Wow, nice post!
I went through and viewed all 31 pages. Makes me homesick. 🙂

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