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The bunyip cometh to Gungahlin.

By johnboy - 30 August 2010 7

Back in January 2009 in the comments section on a story on tourist attraction for Canberra a Big Bunyip was suggested for Gungahlin.

By September the Gungahlinites were convinced that they were indeed going to get a bunyip.

Today Jon Stanhope has announced that the bunyip has been commissioned.

A sculpture of a popular children’s book character has been commissioned by the ACT Government for the Gungahlin Town Park and will be installed in early 2011.

Chief Minister and Minister for the Arts and Heritage, Jon Stanhope, said Melbourne artist, Anne Ross, would re-create the character of Alexander Bunyip from the 1970s children’s book, The Monster that Ate Canberra, by Michael Salmon.

“The Bunyip is well-known to those who lived in Canberra during the 1970s and 80s and still features on the shelves of our public libraries,” Mr Stanhope said. “The idea for the sculpture came from the Gungahlin community and I believe it will make a lively addition to the Gungahlin Town Park.”

The bronze sculpture will be installed in the Gungahlin Town Park, on the corner of Hibberson and Gozzard Streets and outside the new Gungahlin Library which is currently under construction.

We might need to have some sort of function at the feet of our bunyip when it arrives.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
The bunyip cometh to Gungahlin.
AlexBunyip 10:47 am 25 Apr 11

Yep, hear what you say: My next book will be ‘Clancy, the Giant Cockroach that ate Tuggeranong’ (Starting with the Hyperdome !!!) Whadda-think??, Cheers, Michael Salmon.

Granny 4:00 am 13 Sep 10

Thanks, Gungahlin Al.

I’m sorry I couldn’t do you a hundred foot jobber, p1, but we are all pretty excited about our statue. The feedback we’ve had has been consistently positive, and it’s exciting to watch new generations of kids fall in love with the Bunyip.

I think it says a lot about the character and flavour of Canberra that ordinary people can have dreams and see them come to life, and I would really like to thank the Chief Minister for giving us this opportunity. I think it will add something very special to Gungahlin and Anne Ross has done a superb job with her vision for the sculpture. Despite all the different interests and temperaments on the tender committee, there was not a single person there who didn’t fall instantly in love with the maquette. I know that people will either love it or hate it, but at the end of the day I had to do what I thought was right for the Gungahlin community and the author, Michael Salmon, and especially for my much-loved Alexander.

I think RiotACT can also be proud of this achievement – love it or hate it, the sculpture had its genesis in this forum and I don’t think there’s anywhere quite like it.

I would also like to thank Gungahlin Al for a great campaign to bring the bunyip to Gungahlin and Michael Salmon for supporting us all the way. It has been a lot of fun and a great ride.

Kuku 10:38 pm 31 Aug 10

bitzermaloney said :

Amazing… Stanhope’s commisioned a self statue.

Can’t wait for the:
– Katy Gallagher,uhm… I mean the fairy statue for Fyshwick;
– Andrew Barr, ops… Peter Pan (& the lost boys) of Pialigo; and
– and the Shane Rattenbury, oh.. the White Rabbit (along with Alice & the Queen of Hearts) for Reid

OMG Are you really Alistair (I hate anything left and I can do it better…Coe)????

Skidbladnir 3:33 pm 31 Aug 10

Back in January 2009…
Strangely, it started when talking about a police station back in August 2008.
And then in September 2009, Gungahlin Al announced the bunyip was a Government action item.

Who ever said letting the readership rabble about for a while without a moderation queue couldn’t be constructive?

p1 2:55 pm 31 Aug 10

Without taking anything from Granny’s bunyip, I would have liked to see it 100ft tall straddling the road into Canberra…

Gungahlin Al 2:29 pm 31 Aug 10

It was a lot earlier than that actually, but I can’t find the article. It was a thread on the recurrent theme of what warrants decent urban art. ‘Granny’ chimed in along the lines of “someone should make a statue of the Monster that ate Canberra” and I chimed in that it could go outside the new Gungahlin Library. So, despite what the Chief Minister’s media release says, it was Granny’s idea – Estelle, from the Gungahlin Community Council executive.

Estelle went on the represent GCC on the tender selection committee for the statue, and I think the final design really meets our goals of an interactive, accessible and friendly art piece that will ultimately help draw new generations into the library to try to find the book that for many of us who were kids in Canberra was our introduction to reading.

Quick funny story: during the first meeting with Arts ACT after Jon Stanhope approved our idea, I suggested (kind of in jest) the bunyip could be scaling the wall of the new library, with a bite taken out of the eave. The head of libraries at the meeting almost had kittens…

bitzermaloney 4:33 pm 30 Aug 10

Amazing… Stanhope’s commisioned a self statue.

Can’t wait for the:
– Katy Gallagher,uhm… I mean the fairy statue for Fyshwick;
– Andrew Barr, ops… Peter Pan (& the lost boys) of Pialigo; and
– and the Shane Rattenbury, oh.. the White Rabbit (along with Alice & the Queen of Hearts) for Reid

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