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A Look Around Canberra: Turner

Alexandra Craig 19 April 2016 2


This is the first instalment of RiotACT’s newest weekly series: A Look Around Canberra (unless I think of a better name…). Each week I’ll take a look at a different suburb and explore what each one has to offer and its history. If there’s any particular suburb you’re itching to know more about leave a comment let me know.

Turner is one of the beautiful, leafy-green suburbs that make up the inner-north and seems to be increasingly popular with uni students (in the share houses) and young professionals (in the swish apartments) as each day goes by.

Turner was first gazetted on 20 September 1928, named after Sir George Turner; a legislator, federalist, and one of the Founders of the Constitution. Turner was also the Premier of Victoria  between 1894 and 1899 before going on to serve as Treasurer under our first Prime Minister Edmund Barton.

Around 72 per cent of dwellings here are apartments, with the average weekly rent setting tenants back about $430. The median age is 30 with the average individual income at $60,424.


It’s not cheap to buy in Turner with the biggest sale to date being finalised just a few months ago – 4 Masson Street going for a huge $2,980,000! The median price for units is $465,000 and for non-units $950,000. Fourteen years ago, the median price for units was $200,000 and non-units was $377,000.

In the way of facilities, Turner doesn’t have a huge amount to offer. There is one school (Turner School) for Years K-6, several churches (Baptist, Ukrainian Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventist, Lutheran, and even a “Friends Meeting House” which I’m a little unsure of. There’s also a bowls club, a tennis club, and the Australia-Croatia Club is here too. In my travels I came across a nice, but slightly old, playground. It had swings which wins points from me, but one of the swings was one of those baby ones with leg inserts. Not suggesting that parks shouldn’t be friendly for kids of all ages, it’s just hard to swing with a friend if we can’t fit.


Turner does not have its own set of local shops, unlike most suburbs in Canberra. I presume this is the case due to its close proximity to O’Connor, Braddon, Civic and Acton which all have shops and restaurants.

There’s nothing too whacky about Turner. It’s very pretty but quite nondescript. The whackiest thing I saw was one house with what looked like a window frame and indoor staircase built entirely out of multicoloured Lego pieces. There is also Live Action Roleplaying (people dressed up in full medieval garb acting out battle scenes) in Haig Park there from time to time and that can be entertaining.

Quick stats
Streets are named after: Pioneers, legislators, and writers
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 49.4 per cent male, 50.6 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.7
Crime: 413 incidents in 2014 to date (not including parking infringements)

What do you think of Turner? Have you ever lived there?

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2 Responses to A Look Around Canberra: Turner
old canberran old canberran 5:14 pm 27 Mar 15

Firstly I think these suburb summaries are wonderful and I am enjoying reading them. Turner did not have a shooping centre for the same reason Reid and Braddon don’t. The reason is they were built pre NCDC days and the shopping for those who lived there was done at Civic which in those days had all the necessary shops for a normal household to survive. The NCDC town planning concept was that each suburb had a shopping centre, a primary school and most likely a garage. Four suburbs rated a High School. School buildings were designed to become something other than schools when the supply of kids ran out and until regeneration took place.
I remember when East Row in the Sydney building had a butcher, a grocery shop, fruit and veg shop, a milk bar, chemist, newsagency, clothes shop and stationary shop. Those were the days before supermarkets and the grocer served you and carried your purchases out to the car about 20 feet away.

Well done Alex.

benita_449 benita_449 6:00 pm 08 Mar 15

Couple of points to note (from a local):

– Turner Primary School is one of the highest achieving primary schools in the ACT (if you trust the ‘My School’ league tables…)
– The ‘Friends Meeting House’ is a site for the Quakers worship group. One of the least discriminating religions out there. They are on Bent St if you are interested.
– Turner is also home to Haig Park – one of the first parklands established in Canberra. Nice historical significance with details on the plaques throughout the park if you care to go for a walk one day.
The Haig Park area near Masson St contains lots of green open space for dogs and their owners (it’s a designated ‘off-leash’ area and is much shadier and welcoming in summer than some nearby dog-parks). Check signage in the park for details.
– The bowls club is now operated by the RUC (Rugby Union club) and is old-school style with old-school prices for ales and meals. Barefoot bowls is massive and judging by their diary is the most desired office Christmas Party venue in the ACT.
– The Tennis Club off Condamine St is particularly popular around Aussie Open time in January and has social tennis groups. Monday nights go off with the local Pink Tennis group.
– The Lego house mentioned above in the article has become a mini-tourist attraction lately as it was in the paper due to the theft (and subsequent return) of the one of the resident’s life-sized Lego men

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