2 Oct / 2023

Discovering and valuing Deakin’s heritage – DRA project

MEDIA RELEASE – Heritage to be showcased in Deakin

The Deakin Residents’ Association is delighted to announce that the ACT Government has approved
a grant of $14,780 for the Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) to undertake a project under the
ACT Heritage Grants program 2023-2024 for Discovering and valuing Deakin’s heritage.

The aim of this project is to document and describe heritage aspects of Deakin, emphasising its
importance in the historical development and legacy of Canberra as the national capital based on
Walter Burley Griffin’s designs and garden city principles. The project is planned in stages, with
Stage One being to design and install two Canberra Tracks signs, one at the Deakin shops and one
at La Trobe Park, describing the heritage aspects of Deakin; and to engage an historian to write a
more detailed historical overview of the development of Deakin for the DRA website which will be accessible via the Canberra Tracks app.

Currently there is no publicly accessible information in Deakin describing the suburb’s extensive
and significant social and architectural history, environmental value and heritage importance. This
project will provide signage, and a Canberra Tracks link will provide readily accessible information
to residents, tourists and other visitors.

The DRA also plans to engage school students, community
groups such as the Scouts (based in La Trobe Park), local schools and businesses in the project.

The project will also promote a wider understanding and knowledge of some related historical
developments in Australia. For example, information on signage in La Trobe Park will highlight the
important role of Charles La Trobe who, after the establishment of Victoria in 1851, was its first
Lieutenant Governor and oversaw the establishment of Melbourne’s beautiful Botanical Gardens.

Some streets and parks in Deakin are named after early State Governors.

The DRA hopes, subject to further funding, to undertake the development of a comprehensive
social data base and additional signage in other relevant locations, a heritage trail map and other
material on such issues as landscapes and treescapes. The DRA plans to celebrate Stage One during
the Heritage Festival in 2024 and will keep residents informed of these plans.

Contact can be made with Dr John Bell, President, Deakin Residents’ Association on 0438 732 953.
This project is supported with funding made available by the ACT Government under the ACT Heritage Grants Program.