14 October 2022

Canberra community celebrates Woden's 60th birthday

| Evelyn Karatzas
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aerial view of Woden

Woden turns 60 this weekend. Photo: Region Media.

It’s not every day a region celebrates a birthday, let alone its 60th – and that’s why the Woden community wants to mark the milestone in style.

The Woden Valley Community Council, Tuggeranong Arts and Woden Community Service have put their heads together to create a special event to honour the occasion and tip their collective cap to the past six decades of progress.

Woden is home to Canberra’s first town centre, seen as the first move towards decentralisation. The district was originally planned to be home to 60,000 people. The contract to build the town, awarded in May 1962, included roadworks, kerbs, gutters, sewerage, drainage and water supply for 447 residential blocks, a school and a shopping centre in Hughes.

Woden’s suburbs were released over the following years with new residents buying land in restricted auctions which provided a single block to those who had not held a residential lease in the ACT in the previous two years.

Woden Youth Centre: Opening Day

Peter Garrett at the opening of Woden Youth Centre on 27 May, 1989. Photo: Woden Youth Centre.

By the early 1970s the Woden Town Centre was underway and public service offices and community facilities such as Phillip Oval and Phillip Pool continued to be built.

Woden Community Service manager for community development and engagement Katie Peek said the birthday festivities were an opportunity to come together and celebrate Woden’s well-known community spirit.

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Celebrations from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday, 16 October will bring Eddison Park in Woden alive with live music, art markets, stalls, community activities and a barbecue.

Katie said the day would be all about “community and connection”, reflecting on the suburb’s journey since 1962.

“We have a number of artists, businesses and recreational clubs coming,” she said.

“We have also tried to keep everything local with musicians and performers hitting the stage to sing, dance and play music.

“There will also be a kids’ play space, a kids’ craft corner, wildlife walks, skaters, ballers, carnival games, sporting club demonstrations, face painting, glitter tattoos and more.”

PachamamaEnjoy Pachamama, a Latin-American music ensemble, at Woden’s 60th birthday celebrations. Photo: Pachamama.

The performers include Pachamama, a Latin-American music ensemble from Chifley; the Devine Devilles Trio, a Woden trio best known for its award-winning vocals, keys, guitar and blues-harp; a local belly dancing group; and a local youth band Pretty in Punk. A DJ will also spin tracks between each performer’s set.

The birthday celebration will also feature 15 market stalls selling a variety of products including paintings, photography, ceramics, handmade cards, jewellery, T-shirts and clothing.

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Kate said Woden Community Service would be among the community groups setting up stalls on the day, and was looking forward to a “fun, free, family-friendly day out”.

She said the community service had the privilege of connecting with the local community every day.

“It’s going to be such a great event, we’ve had so much interest and it’s been a surprise how many people are keen to be a part of it!”

To find out more about Woden’s 60th birthday celebrations, visit Woden Community Service.

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