The Heart of a Nation

The city of Canberra was designed especially to be the capital city of Australia in 1908. Melbourne and Sydney were rival cities and both fighting to become the capital, it was decided to build a new city that would be situated between the two. Because of this Canberra is an entirely planned city and designed to suit the location and incorporates natural areas and topography.

As Canberra was planned to be the capital the central area is mostly made up of government buildings and institutes of social and cultural significance, that includes the site of the Parliament House. The city is built around a large man made lake which is named after the cities architect, Walter Burley Griffin.The Heart of a Nation

Canberra has been voted the most livable city in the world for two years in a row but is that necessarily a good thing? Find out HERE from an article from The Guardian that looks into the down sides of planned cities.

Have you visited Canberra? I would like to hear opinion in the comments below.

The long walk

To finish my posts about Aboriginal culture in Australia  I would like to cover a few areas where Aboriginal culture is present in current Australian society that I haven’t already mentioned. It is still a long road to reduce the social gap and a continuous battle raise awareness for their struggle. I want to begin with The Long Walk with happens each year in May.

Michael Long was an Australian rules football player of Indigenous descent. After his career ended in 2001 he became a spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. He was unhappy with the situation and wanted to encourage change. He decided to walk from his home in Melbourne to Canberra and talk with the Prime Minister of the time, John Howard. After walking more than half of the 650 km to Canberra Long had gathered so much support that John Howard had heard of his efforts and invited him to talk.

Now, the Long Walk is celebrated in many ways. One of those is Dreamtime at the G. An AFL (Australian Football League) game dedicated to the Indigenous people of Australia. I was in attendance on 21st May 2011 as well as the other 80,000 people while Richmond played Essendon. It was a great experience. The MCG or G is a huge stadium and along with the pre-match entertainment that involved aspects of the Aboriginal Dreamtime it created an excellent atmosphere.

The other is the Aboriginal Tent Embassy that was established in 1972 outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra by four Aboriginal men in an effort to get the government to recognize the land rights of the Aboriginal people of Australia. In February the protesters presented their demands that included the control of the Northern Territory, Mining rights and the preservation of sacred sites. The demands were rejected and eight people arrested. Since 1972 the Aboriginal Tent Embassy has been established and removed numerous times but still remains today.

These last few posts could only be considered an introduction into the culture of Aboriginals as their history is long, complex and still continues today. If you have posted about the culture of Aboriginal people and their history in Australia please share the link in the comments below as I would like to read them.