New Centenary suburb signs to honour past Prime Ministers

Released 13/04/2012

Dr Chris Bourke MLA, representing the ACT Chief Minister, today revealed the first of 16 new suburb signs created to honour Australia's past Prime Ministers, after whom many of Canberra's suburbs are named.


The new sign—at Bruce—is the first in the series, which will see signs installed in Barton, Curtin, Forde, Page, Deakin, Holt, Reid, Chifley, Fadden, Hughes, Scullin, Cook, Fisher, Lyons and Watson, in the lead-up to the Centenary of Canberra in 2013.


Dr Bourke said the signs, which would feature a short biography and photograph, are an ideal way to recognise and celebrate the heritage of Canberra's suburbs.


"Our system in the national capital, of naming streets and suburbs after notable Australians, is unique, and I have no doubt that many Canberrans mention these place names every day without being aware of the stories behind them," said Dr Bourke.


"The Centenary of Canberra offers a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of this intriguing aspect of our city, and to remind commuters of the contribution of these many well-known - and less well-known - Australians, who have contributed to our country's success.


"For example, today it's appropriate this first new sign to be revealed is in Bruce - which is named after the Right Honourable Viscount Stanley Bruce, who celebrated his birthday on the 15th of April.


"Born in 1883, Stanley Bruce was serving as the 8th Prime Minister of Australia when the momentous decision was made to move the seat of government from Melbourne to Canberra.


"He had particularly strong links to Canberra - he was the first Chancellor of the Australian National University, and following his death in 1967, his ashes were scattered on Lake Burley Griffin.


"It's my great pleasure to reveal this first sign, and I encourage all residents and visitors to take the opportunity to pause and learn a little more about the iconic Australian Prime Ministers behind these suburb names, as the remaining 15 signs are installed throughout 2012," Dr Bourke said.


Canberra's past, present and future will be celebrated as part of the Centenary in 2013, which will showcase new and exciting activities alongside the best established events already taking place.


The diverse Centenary program aims to celebrate the symbolism of Australia's national capital and its qualities as a leading twenty-first century city.


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