The suburb of Chapman in Weston Creek is named after Austin Chapman, a former minister who held the portfolios of defence, health, trade, and customs, at various points during the early 1900s. He served in public roles until 1924 when he resigned due to ill health, passing away just two years later.
Chapman is one of those suburbs where I think you have to live there, or be really clued in to the area, to be able to enjoy it. In the time I spent there for the purpose of this article, I couldn’t really find anything that was of interest. It’s a lovely suburb, incredibly well kept, with lots of very nice houses but it was lacking something. There doesn’t seem to be a lot to do there except perhaps hike in the nearby bushland.
The Chapman shops are quite good. There is an IGA, pharmacy, hairdresser and a medical surgery. Plans for an upgrade to the shops were released a few years back. I can’t tell if the upgrades have gone ahead or not, because I don’t know what the shops looked like in 2013. They look like they’re in pretty good shape now though.
The 2003 bushfires hit parts of Chapman pretty hard. I wasn’t a Canberra resident when the bushfires occurred but looking at photos from that time is simply terrifying, I can’t even begin to imagine what locals went through. All but a few houses in Chauvel Circle, Lincoln Close, and Hertz Place were completely destroyed.
Chapman unfortunately also has almost 25 Mr Fluffy homes, many of which are found on Darwinia Terrace. Suburbs like Chapman will look so different over the next five years when these homes are demolished. It is a very sad series of events.
One thing I’ve heard about Chapman is that it’s the only suburb in Canberra that doesn’t have any public housing at all. It’s hard to verify this, I didn’t see any of the typical public housing flats while I was there, however, obviously not all public housing is flats and lots just look like regular houses. I’d be interested to know if Chapman is the only suburb without, and if so, why it ended up this way.
If there are any Chapman-ites (or is it Chapman-folk?) who can answer the question regarding public housing, or can shed some light on what kind of recreational activities take place in this suburb, please leave a comment! Chapman is a lovely area and I really don’t want it to be boring.
Street theme: Australian Film Industry
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 49.5 per cent male, 50.5 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.9
Crime: 78 incidents in 2014 (not including parking infringements)