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Is Canberra an unfriendly place to live?

By Dazzlar 27 July 2009 85

Before we moved here we were told that “Canberra is a funny place, no one is friendly there” by quite a few people. 

I wonder why there is that perception in the rest of Australia. 

We got these responses from a varying group of people, some that had lived here, some that had only visited, people that had held positions at the highest points in Federal Government etc. 

I was also told that “Canberrans are weird” and when asked in what way they couldn’t elaborate they just said “it was just a feeling”!

I can understand that people have a problem with government and yeah Canberra gets bagged for that but the people?

What’s Your opinion?


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85 Responses to
Is Canberra an unfriendly place to live?
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Why 3:38 pm 06 Sep 16

Thank you rommeldog56. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Yes, I need to join groups. What’s limited me is the time spent looking for work in between frequent trips interstate to complete renovations. Difficult to belong to a group or job when only here 50% of the time. The last renovation was completed Jan 4th this year, so I’ve been here almost full time since then. I should also say I am not young anymore, having turned 60 in July. Most of the comments from those that found assimilation easy are from the younger group- say 20’s and 30’s. I think it’s harder when one is older.
I’ve met many nice people here, but, alas, I only get to see them perhaps 3 or 4 times a year. The time in between (which is most of the time) is when I find it lonely and difficult.
I have just applied for another job. To date I have heard nothing back. It’s been a fortnight. Of the 12 jobs I’ve applied for, only 1 had the courtesy to respond with “Your application has been unsuccessful”. Even though political rhetoric states the opposite, I am sure my age is a very limiting factor, despite my years of experience and (I’m told- so it’s not ego speaking) my impressive resume.
Oh well, I guess I’ll keep on keeping on because that’s what people have to do. Cheers and thanks again rommeldog56 (BTW, love the moniker 🙂 )

rommeldog56 10:07 pm 05 Sep 16

Why said :

My husband got a contract here and I moved to be with him after renovating and selling our home interstate. I’ve been here about 1.5 years. We don’t have children and I currently don’t have a job. I have never felt so isolated and alone in my life. We live in an area surrounded by embassies, so it’s not very welcoming nor friendly. I am desperately unhappy here. EVERYONE I have spoken to about this says the same thing: that Canberra is a beastly difficult place to assimilate to- especially if no job, no children and no groups. Everything is so expensive and because Canberra is just far enough from Sydney, all services are exorbitant…because, well, they can. Council rates here are three times what my husband pays for his house in a posh part of Sydney.
I hope we don’t retire here because I’ll me in a mental home if I have to stay here against my will for much longer.

Firstly, welcome. Sorry to hear that u are struggling – it can be difficult, Canberra is quite clique-oriented re getting to know people, but I suppose its no alone in that. Being in an Embassy area may not be ideal either but there are bound to be some residents groups in your area that u could join. Sports groups ? Volunteer groups ? Some of the larger clubs also have special interest groups. Google will help. But even if not in your area, is quite easy to drive or bus to where groups might meet. Sorry if this sounds like Its telling you the obvious.

In my view, Canberra used to be more friendly than it is now. U only have to look at some of the posts on here about the impact of and the non acknowledgement of the ACT Labor/Greens Govt’s 10% avg pa increase in Annual Rates on the elderly, the disabled, the aged, self funded retirees and other vulnerable groups to see the cold, non compassionate underbelly of this place. But, there are many, many great people here still (who probably don’t post on RiotACT). I wish u luck in your quest – sorry I can not be more specific with suggestions.

Why 12:46 pm 05 Sep 16

My husband got a contract here and I moved to be with him after renovating and selling our home interstate. I’ve been here about 1.5 years. We don’t have children and I currently don’t have a job. I have never felt so isolated and alone in my life. We live in an area surrounded by embassies, so it’s not very welcoming nor friendly. I am desperately unhappy here. EVERYONE I have spoken to about this says the same thing: that Canberra is a beastly difficult place to assimilate to- especially if no job, no children and no groups. Everything is so expensive and because Canberra is just far enough from Sydney, all services are exorbitant…because, well, they can. Council rates here are three times what my husband pays for his house in a posh part of Sydney.
I hope we don’t retire here because I’ll me in a mental home if I have to stay here against my will for much longer.

farnarkler 10:23 pm 29 Aug 11

A few thoughts;

– Most of us who’ve lived here for a long time have friends from school and work. Some groups are more cliquey.
– Sometimes you’re going to meet people who’ll say, nicely or not, they’ve got enough friends and don’t want any more.
– A lot of women complain about the lack of decent blokes here yet have the princess syndrome so they wouldn’t be seen with a tradie or a bloke who’s at a lower APS level. (this isn’t one of mine but I hear it a lot)
– Speed dating can be a good way of meeting people. A mate of mine is forever bumping into women he met speed dating. Always seems to happen at the casino nightclub.
– Those that are really unfriendly are probably not worth wanting to know.

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