Narrabundah, located in Canberra’s inner south, draws its name from the language of the Ngunnawal people; however there are several interpretations online as to what the exact meaning of Narrabundah is. One online contribution says it means ‘bird of prey’, while another says ‘little hawk’.
This suburb is very old, being gazetted in 1928. In the late 1940s around 360 prefabs, or temporary, homes were built in the area to accomodate the tradesmen and their families who had moved to the ACT to get things established after World War II. The twenty one streets where these homes stood is now thirteen streets (bounded by Matina Street and Kootara Crescent) after being consolidated in the 1978.
Narrabundah is also known for the mysterious tyre slasher. No one quite knows who is doing this, but car tyres have been slashed on and off for several decades. A 68-year-old man was arrested last year, but I don’t believe he was ever charged. A friend of mine used to live in Narrabundah, and whenever I visited his house I would always park as far into his driveaway as I could because someone told me the slasher only targets cars on the street.
Apparently this is not true, but I fortunately have never fallen victim. I’ve also heard that if you go to any mechanic or garage in the inner south with a slashed tyre the first words they’ll say to you is “You’re from Narrabundah.”
Another little tidbit about the Bundah is that there used to be erm, wild peacocks living in the area. They were presumed to have originated from a wildlife park in Symonston that closed down in the 1980s. In 2013 TAMS took action and captured some of the peacocks for transfer to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, however I am unsure about what happened to the remaining few peacocks the Zoo couldn’t take.
The Narrabundah shops are home to La Cantina restaurant which found itself mentioned in the national media every few months during the years of the Gillard Government. Every time there was leadership chit-chat there would always be ministers having dinner together at La Cantina which would send the journalists into a spin.
Narrabundah with its leafy streets, wild peacocks and scary knife wielding tyre haters is a pretty interesting part of Canberra I think. Property prices are sky high so I probably won’t be living there any time soon, but hopefully will one day, in a house with a lockable garage.
Streets are named after: Indigenous names, explorers and pioneers
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 47.8 per cent male, 52.2 per cent female (this is a huge difference!)
Average children per family: 1.8
Crime: 579 incidents in 2014 (not including parking infringements)