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What is Canberra?

By papadoc - 25 March 2008 42

A friend of mine is thinking of moving here from overseas and asked me to describe Canberra. After umming and ahhing for a few minutes, all I could say what that “it’s home”.

How would you guys describe this place?

What’s Your opinion?


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42 Responses to
What is Canberra?
VicePope 7:23 pm 25 Mar 08

A visiting politician once described Canberra as looking like Pymble and voting like Cessnock. There is, as there usually is, some truth to the cliches about small, mono-industry towns, about obsessions with gardening and about the appalling quality of local politics and the media. But there’s more – decent cinemas, some ok drinking holes, some better than country town restaurants, some good coffee. And then add in the cultural bits and the sporting stuff.

Think as well of the proxy measures that may say something. A mostly adequate bus service no-one uses, despite a government policy of making carparks disappear. Highish use of private health insurance and a near absence of bulk billing. Despite their cost, the highest rate of people avoiding the government school system.

As a guess, three degrees of separation within one’s gene pool but a lot more when one has to leap between worlds – say from upper/middle public sector, academic, professional to trades, service and retail. Meeting points across the barrier are few, and RiotACT is one of them.

BerraBoy68 7:17 pm 25 Mar 08

I describe Canberra as Australia’s best kept secret!

Whenever inter-stater’s complain of there being nothing to do in Canberra, I just tell them there’s loads to do as long as you know where to look.

Lets face it, we’re close to both the beach and the snow. How good is that.

skaboy12 6:56 pm 25 Mar 08

I think there are more CAVE People in Canberra than NIMBYs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAVE_People

el 6:49 pm 25 Mar 08

Don’t forget the NIMBYs, skaboy.

mmmmmm…NIMBYs.

skaboy12 6:42 pm 25 Mar 08

It is the land of pointless protests and no motorsport. Stupid car laws and modification restrictions. It is where kangaroo loving hippies reside who refuse to look at the big picture and only care about spreading disinformation. The community is made up of whingers and old people, who want to destroy everything that is fun.

We have no real print media and the television media is even worse. Our principal source of information is RiotACT, and there is no real government, only a glorified local council. Our road planning is controlled by corporations who pull Stanhopes strings and the Airport area is a joke. We claim to be a city but we a big town.

But despite all the negatives, I love this city, and its surrounds. Even if the people annoyed me so much I moved to Queanbeyan where people are friendlier.

jase! 6:32 pm 25 Mar 08

it’s not home, its a place where I live for now

have enjoyed it for the most part however

Headbonius 6:30 pm 25 Mar 08

The very special home of some very special people lik Nyssa, Ingeegoodbee and Maelinar. Very special people indeed.

CanberraResident 5:33 pm 25 Mar 08

I’d describe Canberra as “a number of satellite cities”, spread across the ACT region. They are City (or Civic), Tuggeranong, Weston Creek, Belconnen, Woden, Gungahlin, and you could even throw in “Inner South” to include Kingston etc, or do those residents have another name they’d prefer?

Each satellite city is comprised of suburbs.

The satellite cities are separated by either trees, roads, and mountains, plus a generous supply of dead kangaroos.

Contrary to popular belief, Canberra has a soul.

Canberra has a stigma attached to it; apparently we are all public servants and there is no night life. Completely false.

Canberra is an ‘acquired taste’.

It takes a special kind of person to live in Canberra.

meher baba 5:30 pm 25 Mar 08

Mungo McCallum once described Canberra as “a nice place to live but I wouldn’t want to visit it”. That was before the National Gallery, National Museum, Questacon, etc. opened so it is no longer as true as it once was.

However, there is a germ of truth in it: namely, that – like a five star hotel – it is a very comfortable and enjoyable place to live, but it doesn’t have a great deal of atmosphere or much of a distinctive culture or society and is in an important sense an unreal sort of a place.

Absent Diane 5:22 pm 25 Mar 08

Canberra is nothing. That is if you want to take the nihilist line.

paddytrick 5:19 pm 25 Mar 08

PP McGuinness described it as a “Dysfunctional Socialist Utopia”… I always liked that.

Joe Canberran 5:01 pm 25 Mar 08

It’s hard not to describe a place by it’s climate, location, monuments, cultural make up or main types of employment, which I suppose is what your friend was asking but the answer for me is probably similar to yours papadoc; it’s where i feel at home, where my friends and family are, where I feel comfortable and can be myself. A bit of that is what it isn’t. It isn’t crowded, polluted, bigoted (although you’d never know from reading the-riot).

It’s also where there is a drought all the time except on the days i need to do laundry and right now I need to get my clothes out of the dryer and fold/iron as needed before the creases settle in πŸ˜‰

Growling Ferret 4:59 pm 25 Mar 08

Clean air, open space, 4 seasons.

smokey2 4:54 pm 25 Mar 08

The Soviet utopia the Russians could not create.

Sammy 4:48 pm 25 Mar 08

Home to Australia’s highest ranked University.

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