Though Fisher is bordered by well-known suburbs like Waramanga, Chapman and Chifley, it’s so small and unassuming that even some long-term Canberrans haven’t heard of it. I grew up in Fisher (my parents and grandparents still live there), and I remember that as a kid it was easier to tell people I lived in Weston Creek rather than confusing them with the specifics.
Fisher is quiet and tiny, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. As an older suburb, the roads are wide, the blocks are big and the streets are lined with mature trees. The population is slightly older too (Fisher is home to Araluen Retirement Village, but the suburb in general has a high ratio of walking frames to baby strollers), which makes for quiet Friday nights and well-manicured front gardens.
The local supermarket/post office is run by a man named Rick, who has worked there for as long as I can remember and is fastidious about ensuring that customers have paid the correct amount for postage. It’s a very, very small supermarket – the kind that’s great for stocking up on milk, bread, newspapers, lollies and iceblocks, but not so good if you need to pick up something quick for dinner (in which case, Waramanga IGA is about three streets away).
The local shops are also home to a particularly good takeaway shop, Fisher Takeaway, whose loyal clientele includes my Dad, who has gone there for dinner before night shifts for more than a decade. There’s also a GP, a Vietnamese takeaway (I don’t like Vietnamese so can’t vouch for this one), a wheelchair shop, a dog grooming salon and the creatively named Hairloom hairdressing salon. It would be nice to see Fisher shops invigorated with the addition of a vibrant little café or bakery, as is the case at Chifley shops with A Bite to Eat, but perhaps Fisher is too small and a little too far off the main roads for that.
Fisher used to have its own primary school but no longer has the young population to support it. Nearby schools include Stromlo High School, Arawang Primary School and St John Vianneys – all in Waramanga. There’s a playground tucked behind Kalgoorlie Crescent and Pandanus Street (pictured above), and I believe there’s another tucked away behind the shops.
What a lot of people don’t know about Fisher is that in the summertime the ACT Government introduces cows to the parkland at the back of the BMX park (pictured above) as part of its bushfire hazard reduction strategy. I can’t think of another national capital city where it’s possible to live in a relatively central suburb and be within easy walking distance of a cow paddock. Amazing. While it looks like the cows have left for the season, it’s still a great place to go walking. Be careful of snakes as the grass around the tracks can get quite long between mows.
Streets are named after: Australian mines and mining towns
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 48 per cent male, 52 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.7
Crime: 107 incidents in 2014 (excludes traffic/parking infringements)