30 July 2020

A look around Canberra: Fyshwick

| Alexandra Craig
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The suburb of Fyshwick is probably Canberra’s most “famous” suburb. Everyone that’s never been to Canberra knows about Fyshwick and once someone finds out you’re from Canberra they will probably ask “Can you still get fireworks/porn at Fyshwick?” The answer to that question is no you can’t as fireworks were banned some years ago, and yes you can. You can buy porn, you can buy a car, check out some furniture, and even duck in to a trendy cafe!

As the above description would indicate, Fyshwick is largely an industrial suburb. I always thought it was one of the only suburbs in Canberra that had zero residents but in fact Fyshwick had 38 residents at the last Census. I’m unsure where the residental part of Fyshwick actually is, from the map it looks like it takes in part of The Causeway area so perhaps a few houses there scrape in.

Fyshwick is home to an outlet shopping centre, formerly known as DFO it was renamed semi-recently to COC (Canberra Outlet Centre). Surely the irony is lost on whoever ticked off on the name change, especially given that COC is located on Iron Knob Street.

There is also some really cool cafes in Fyshwick. My favourite is ONA Coffee on Wollongong Street, and friends speak very highly of Two Hands on Lyell Street. If you’re after a sweet treat there’s also Flute Bakery on Barrier Street and Dream Cuisine Patisserie on Whyalla Street.

 

two hands cafe

For those wondering where the name Fyshwick came from, wonder no more! It was named after Philip Oakley Fysh, one of the Founders of the Consitution, and at the suggestion of the Federal Capital Commission, the Canberra National Memorials Committee approved the inclusion of the suffix ‘wick’ which meant ‘village’.

Street theme: Industrial towns
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population: 38
Average children per family: 1.5<
Crime: 572 incidents in 2015 (not including traffic infringements)

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I purchased fireworks in Fyshwick last year.

Nilrem said :

dungfungus said :

Nilrem said :

One category of Fyshwick’s most notorious (and quite prominent) businesses didn’t get a mention!

Are you referring to the toxic legacy left by the big oil company prominently located on the main entrance street to Fyshwick that will soon become another Canberra environmental disaster after asbestos and the Mugga Lane landfill?

No, the sex industry, which is technically confined to Fyshwick/Mitchell/Hume. I didn’t know about the oil spill issue. What’s the state of play with that?

Not so much an oil spill but fuel (hydrocarbon pollution). It’s leaching into a nearby creek.
It would be on this secret list but of course, that is “commercial in confidence”.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/more-than-1000-potentially-contaminated-sites-identified-in-act-20150123-12×249.html

creative_canberran4:55 pm 02 Feb 16

There’s six houses in Fyshwick, a number of other properties that appear to be temporary accommodation. Of the 38 regular residents counted in the census, there’s 3 with postgrad qualifications, but most have certificates and diplomas. Many are single parent families. The majority did not live there 5 years ago, having moved in from NSW mostly. All are Australian background. There were 38 regular residents on census night, but 50 people residing in Fyshwick on census night.

chewy14 said :

Did you just quote an unsourced wikipedia article as the basis of your “concentration camp” claim?

Read.

Particularly the list of references given at the foot of every Wikipedia article.

I’ve written a number myself and they do not go unverified and cross checked.

dungfungus said :

Nilrem said :

One category of Fyshwick’s most notorious (and quite prominent) businesses didn’t get a mention!

Are you referring to the toxic legacy left by the big oil company prominently located on the main entrance street to Fyshwick that will soon become another Canberra environmental disaster after asbestos and the Mugga Lane landfill?

Ahhh. Toxic oil spill! Hmmmmm.

Now where did I park my car?

dungfungus said :

Nilrem said :

One category of Fyshwick’s most notorious (and quite prominent) businesses didn’t get a mention!

Are you referring to the toxic legacy left by the big oil company prominently located on the main entrance street to Fyshwick that will soon become another Canberra environmental disaster after asbestos and the Mugga Lane landfill?

No, the sex industry, which is technically confined to Fyshwick/Mitchell/Hume. I didn’t know about the oil spill issue. What’s the state of play with that?

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

Wrong and wrong. We do have a fact checker here, me checking on you constantly.

“…built as an internment camp during early 1918. It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp.”

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/hooked-on-fyshwicks-history-20141117-11o7c3.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyshwick,_Australian_Capital_Territory

Check with the local historian

alan.foskett@hotmail.com

Did you just quote an unsourced wikipedia article as the basis of your “concentration camp” claim?

Well at least I didn’t make it up as seems to be the common practice here! 😀

I also located a Canberra Times article with the source mentioned at the bottom of my post.

He wrote two books on the subject. If you have any doubts as to the accuracy of the article, contact him.

Nilrem said :

One category of Fyshwick’s most notorious (and quite prominent) businesses didn’t get a mention!

Are you referring to the toxic legacy left by the big oil company prominently located on the main entrance street to Fyshwick that will soon become another Canberra environmental disaster after asbestos and the Mugga Lane landfill?

One category of Fyshwick’s most notorious (and quite prominent) businesses didn’t get a mention!

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

Wrong and wrong. We do have a fact checker here, me checking on you constantly.

“…built as an internment camp during early 1918. It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp.”

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/hooked-on-fyshwicks-history-20141117-11o7c3.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyshwick,_Australian_Capital_Territory

Check with the local historian

alan.foskett@hotmail.com

Did you just quote an unsourced wikipedia article as the basis of your “concentration camp” claim?

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

RadioVK said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

In fact Rubiyat is correct in saying that it was WWI. It was built as an Internment camp (not a concentration camp as such) to house 3500 German and Austrian nationals expelled from China. These internees were sent elsewhere, but it eventually accepted 150 Internees from the Bourke camp. The camp was closed in 1919, and the remaining internees were deported.

In 1942 a Naval auxiliary wireless station was established in what used to be the Internment camp’s hospital building, which operated until 1946. This may be what you are thinking of Dungfungus.

I accept that I erred in the timing of the establishment of the said internment camp.

You erring? How exceptional! Anymore links to no more peak global temperatures since 2015. It’s nearly the end of January 2016, surely there would be something from your usual sources.

dungfungus said :

Now, let’s hear from the rube to retract his claim that it was a concentration camp.

Why would I? I looked it up, and a man with your considerable knowledge would know that Concentration Camps as both a name and practice were invented by the British during the Boer Wars which were still fresh in peoples minds at the time.

The concentration camps in he German Protectorate of South West Africa (Namibia) were no way comparable to the interment camp at Fyshwick. It is totally misleading of you to even suggest such a thing but that is your style, as we all know.

Alexandra Craig9:30 am 01 Feb 16

My family live in Fyshwick and have for over 20 years now. It’s an actual house amongst the industrial shops. They’re interspersed through a few parts of Fyshwick but ours isn’t visible from the road. We know of atleast 3 other neighbours on our street.

Oh wow! Thanks for getting in touch. Really interesting that actual houses are amongst the industrial area. Do you know the history of your house – was it built for perhaps people that were building Fyshwick?

ONA is very over-rated, Celestino’s on Pirie St is hugely under-rated.
For a bit of trivia……. check Google maps, behind ONA on Wollongong St is a secret little vineyard!

dungfungus said :

I accept that I erred in the timing of the establishment of the said internment camp.
Now, let’s hear from the rube to retract his claim that it was a concentration camp.

Prior to the Germans appropriating the term to describe a different kind of internment, followed by the soft-headed becoming confused between German concentration camps and German extermination camps, “concentration camp” would have been a perfectly well-understood way to describe the internment of enemy alien civilians, although it couldn’t have been the official description in this instance because that would have been inaccurate – these were non-native enemy aliens who were brought to this country for the purpose of internment.

Following the Nazi activities in the 1940s, however, anybody using the term “concentration camp” to describe allied internment camps is simply being dishonestly provocative.

dungfungus said :

RadioVK said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

In fact Rubiyat is correct in saying that it was WWI. It was built as an Internment camp (not a concentration camp as such) to house 3500 German and Austrian nationals expelled from China. These internees were sent elsewhere, but it eventually accepted 150 Internees from the Bourke camp. The camp was closed in 1919, and the remaining internees were deported.

In 1942 a Naval auxiliary wireless station was established in what used to be the Internment camp’s hospital building, which operated until 1946. This may be what you are thinking of Dungfungus.

I accept that I erred in the timing of the establishment of the said internment camp.

You erring? How exceptional! Anymore links to no more peak global temperatures since 2015. It’s nearly the end of January 2016, surely there would be something from your usual sources.

dungfungus said :

Now, let’s hear from the rube to retract his claim that it was a concentration camp.

Why would I? I looked it up, and a man with your considerable knowledge would know that Concentration Camps as both a name and practice were invented by the British during the Boer Wars which were still fresh in peoples minds at the time.

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

All of Fyshwick? I thought the internment camp was concentrated towards Canberra Avenue. From where to where did it cover? The old in-ground water tank can be found among the pine trees on the corner of Canberra Avenue and Newcastle Street. It looks like it would make a good swimming pool. This has no doubt giving me the impression the camp was this end, but not necessarily so.

“…..the internment camp was concentrated….”
Very funny.

RadioVK said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

In fact Rubiyat is correct in saying that it was WWI. It was built as an Internment camp (not a concentration camp as such) to house 3500 German and Austrian nationals expelled from China. These internees were sent elsewhere, but it eventually accepted 150 Internees from the Bourke camp. The camp was closed in 1919, and the remaining internees were deported.

In 1942 a Naval auxiliary wireless station was established in what used to be the Internment camp’s hospital building, which operated until 1946. This may be what you are thinking of Dungfungus.

I accept that I erred in the timing of the establishment of the said internment camp.
Now, let’s hear from the rube to retract his claim that it was a concentration camp.

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

Wrong and wrong. We do have a fact checker here, me checking on you constantly.

“…built as an internment camp during early 1918. It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp.”

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/hooked-on-fyshwicks-history-20141117-11o7c3.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyshwick,_Australian_Capital_Territory

Check with the local historian

alan.foskett@hotmail.com

for such an industrial area there are an increasing number of good quality cafes and diners in the area – Ona and 2 hands are good, as are Dream Cafe and Flute. there is also Peligrinos, Box Cafe, Plumb on Tenant, Mr Cappuccino, Station and a few others dotted around. there are still the greasy joe’s specialising in food for the tradies that dominate the area. Great if you are looking for something in that area but don’t want the parking hassles that come with Manuka or Kingston.

Re the residences – the motor park is in Symonston but the Salvation Army residential (Recovery SErvices Centre on Streetview) up from the Fyshwick Markets near the is the edge of Fyshwick so would probably contribute most of the residentials. The units to the left are Kingston as is all of the Causeway.

I like Fyshwick – it’s colour, services and more organic layout can be welcome relief from suburban Canberra’s monotony. I feel the same of Queanbeyan.

Given that the population number comes from the Census, the actual number of residents of Fyshwick is probably higher, because the more transient residents are potentially unlikely to complete the Census form. I think the Causeway is officially Kingston, given it’s the other side of the railway line. There are indeed some regular residential houses dotted around – there’s a couple on Mildura St (as well as the Salvos complex).

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

To be fair, the Wikipedia page for Fyshwick says:

“One noteworthy portion of Fyshwick, located between the railway line and Canberra Avenue, was built as an internment camp during early 1918. It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp.”

Holden Caulfield10:35 pm 30 Jan 16

There’s a building on the corner of Canberra Ave and Yalllourn Street that was refurbed about 10-15 years ago. The unit on the far left, closest to where the Harley Davidson dealer is now, used to be a gallery and the owner lived on site. At that time I think other units were lived in as well. Although I think are all now fully commercial premises.

The building manager/acting landlord of the building I used to work in, also on Canberra Ave, used to live on site until the building was sold 5-6 years ago and a new owner took control. His son now lives there.

My family live in Fyshwick and have for over 20 years now. It’s an actual house amongst the industrial shops. They’re interspersed through a few parts of Fyshwick but ours isn’t visible from the road. We know of atleast 3 other neighbours on our street.

There is a residence across the street from the Salvo shop, the Salvo shop just up from the markets.

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

You are both wrong. It was a 1918-1919 internment camp, not a concentration camp.
Although that is a distinction which will be lost on those in the habit of making outrageous, unchallenged claims.
https://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/salute/war/molonglo/

There must be someone interested in acquiring this rare copy of local history:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/THE-MOLONGLO-MYSTERY-a-unique-part-of-canberras-history-ALAN-FOSKETT-s-c-/331665811579

A few years back, one of the businesses on Canberra Ave had been converted into quite a livable apartment/

JC said :

joingler said :

Are there any residential blocks at CIT Fyshwick? That might explain the residents there.

Is there any housing near the fresh food markets?

According to my UBD, all of the causeway area is in Kingston.

The other thought i had is that maybe there are some homeless people wh9 call Fyshwick home

Think most will be the caravan park (in which case reckon the count is low). Though depending upon where you look the caravan park is either in Symonston or Fyshwick. The caravan park itself thinks it is in Fyshwick.

Also interesting the poster above who says his family has a house there. Must admit other than a couple of houses near Canturf never really noticed any others.

They are off Whyalla Street.

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

In fact Rubiyat is correct in saying that it was WWI. It was built as an Internment camp (not a concentration camp as such) to house 3500 German and Austrian nationals expelled from China. These internees were sent elsewhere, but it eventually accepted 150 Internees from the Bourke camp. The camp was closed in 1919, and the remaining internees were deported.

In 1942 a Naval auxiliary wireless station was established in what used to be the Internment camp’s hospital building, which operated until 1946. This may be what you are thinking of Dungfungus.

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

All of Fyshwick? I thought the internment camp was concentrated towards Canberra Avenue. From where to where did it cover? The old in-ground water tank can be found among the pine trees on the corner of Canberra Avenue and Newcastle Street. It looks like it would make a good swimming pool. This has no doubt giving me the impression the camp was this end, but not necessarily so.

joingler said :

Are there any residential blocks at CIT Fyshwick? That might explain the residents there.

Is there any housing near the fresh food markets?

According to my UBD, all of the causeway area is in Kingston.

The other thought i had is that maybe there are some homeless people wh9 call Fyshwick home

Think most will be the caravan park (in which case reckon the count is low). Though depending upon where you look the caravan park is either in Symonston or Fyshwick. The caravan park itself thinks it is in Fyshwick.

Also interesting the poster above who says his family has a house there. Must admit other than a couple of houses near Canturf never really noticed any others.

rubaiyat said :

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

It was not a “concentration” camp – and it was WW2..
We need a fact checker on this blog to stop you make outrageous, unchallenged claims.

bikhet said :

Egg & bacon roll at Kapital Kebabs in Wollongong St. Nothing flash, just plenty of bacon, plenty of egg, a good roll and it all tastes good. What more do you want!

Thats my kind of Kebab shop. Multiculturalism at work.

HenryBG said :

The Box Diner isn’t bad, either, on Tennant Street.
boxdiner.com.au

And here I was thinking that was an adult sex shop!
Thanks for clarifying that Henry.

My curiosity at the strange layout of Fyshwick was answered when I discovered it was originally built as a concentration camp during WWI.

joingler said :

Are there any residential blocks at CIT Fyshwick? That might explain the residents there.

There are numerous caretaker’s residences, and I believe the Salvation Army has housing near Canberra Milk.

Are there any residential blocks at CIT Fyshwick? That might explain the residents there.

Is there any housing near the fresh food markets?

According to my UBD, all of the causeway area is in Kingston.

The other thought i had is that maybe there are some homeless people wh9 call Fyshwick home

Steven Bailey said :

I say bring the fireworks back!! 🙂

Hear hear! Then Canberra will have all three of its sources of income back – taxes, porn & fireworks.

Steven Bailey5:57 pm 29 Jan 16

I say bring the fireworks back!! 🙂

Alexandra Craig5:15 pm 29 Jan 16

Holden Caulfield said :

“Surely the irony is lost on whoever ticked off on the name change, especially given that COC is located on Iron Knob Street.”

Alexandra, this is quite possibly the best thing you’ve written on RA. Thank you for the giggle.

Ha! You’re more than welcome.

The Box Diner isn’t bad, either, on Tennant Street.
boxdiner.com.au

Holden Caulfield2:18 pm 29 Jan 16

“Surely the irony is lost on whoever ticked off on the name change, especially given that COC is located on Iron Knob Street.”

Alexandra, this is quite possibly the best thing you’ve written on RA. Thank you for the giggle.

Holden Caulfield2:18 pm 29 Jan 16

MERC600 said :

bikhet said :

Egg & bacon roll at Kapital Kebabs in Wollongong St. Nothing flash, just plenty of bacon, plenty of egg, a good roll and it all tastes good. What more do you want!

Thanks for the tip

Also the Snack Shack on Yallourn Street for great no fuss egg’n’bacon rolls. They also do the BEST value freshly made sandwiches in Canberra.

You forgot to mention that there are also five gyms in Fyshwick.

Best coffee by far is Celestino in Pirie Street. Noise level is very low, unlike all the others mentioned where the noise level is much too high for my liking.

Think you will find the residential area is the caravan park.

bikhet said :

Egg & bacon roll at Kapital Kebabs in Wollongong St. Nothing flash, just plenty of bacon, plenty of egg, a good roll and it all tastes good. What more do you want!

Thanks for the tip

Egg & bacon roll at Kapital Kebabs in Wollongong St. Nothing flash, just plenty of bacon, plenty of egg, a good roll and it all tastes good. What more do you want!

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