Territory and Municipal Services


Corroboree Park

Corroboree Park is located between Paterson Street and Corroboree Park Street in Ainslie. The park has a tennis practice wall, picnic area, basketball court, table tennis table and play equipment.

Corroboree Park was created as a focal point of a garden city subdivision in the mid 1920s. The park, with its buildings for community use, mature landscape and tennis courts and other recreation facilities, plays an important role as a neighbourhood park.

A park of heritage significance

Prior to the 1820s the site was marked by a clump of eucalypts and it was believed to have links with the indigenous people of the region and early settlers. The naming of the park in 1928 reflects the belief that it may have been used as a corroboree ground. The site is reportedly the initial campsite of James Ainslie, who was sent to the Limestone Plains in 1825 to establish a sheep station on behalf of Robert Campbell. Some of these eucalypts appear to have survived to the present day.

In the 1920s, the site became the focal point of a small garden city subdivision designed by the Federal Capital Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Sir John Sulman who was an architect and town planner. It was created as a semi-circular park from which radiated two matching pairs of crescents (Lister, Higgins, Hargraves and Toms Crescents). The housing comprises timber cottages which were designed as "artisan dwellings".

The park, as intended, became the focal point of the community. The tennis courts and buildings date back to the 1920s. In the earlier years a horse-drawn travelling merry-go-round appeared in the park from time to time.

The original planting for the park and subdivision was under the direction of Charles Weston, Canberra's first Superintendent, Parks and Gardens. It was mixed exotic and deciduous species. In the 1930s the members of the tennis club extended the original planting by some 500 plants under an unemployment relief program.

The park was officially named in 1928. It has since been classified by the National Trust and entered onto the Register of the National Estate.

Designed for a garden city community

The parks largely informal design has changed little since the 1920s. In 1968 a limited upgrading plan was prepared aimed at providing additional recreational facilities including a tennis practice wall, picnic area, table tennis table, basketball court and contemporary play equipment.

The buildings are currently under the control of Northside Community Centre.

The trees in the park are now predominantly native with some exotics. Some of the eucalypts have become very large, making this a unique park worth visiting.

Corroboree Park is a popular neighbourhood park which is used mainly for family recreation at weekends. Those with interests in trees, nature and Canberra's planning heritage will find much to study in the park and its adjacent streets.

Reference

Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of selected Urban Parks in Canberra.

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