Woden Valley

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Woden Valley
Canberra,  Australian Capital Territory
WodenValleyfrmRedHillMay2005.jpg
Woden Valley from Red Hill looking across the suburb of Garran in the foreground to the Brindabella Ranges. The Canberra Hospital is to the left and the Woden Town Centre is to the right in the middle distance.
Coordinates 35°20′43″S149°05′42″E / 35.3452°S 149.095°E / -35.3452; 149.095 Coordinates: 35°20′43″S149°05′42″E / 35.3452°S 149.095°E / -35.3452; 149.095
Population39,279 (2021 census) [1]
 • Density1,373.4/km2 (3,557/sq mi)
Gazetted 12 May 1966 [2]
Area28.6 km2 (11.0 sq mi)
Location7 km (4 mi) S of Canberra City
Territory electorate(s) Murrumbidgee
Federal division(s)
Localities around Woden Valley:
Molonglo Valley Canberra Central Canberra Central
Weston Creek Woden Valley Jerrabomberra
Tuggeranong Tuggeranong Jerrabomberra

The District of Woden Valley ( /ˈwdɪn/ ) is one of the original eighteen districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration. The district is subdivided into divisions (suburbs), sections and blocks. The district of Woden Valley lies entirely within the bounds of the city of Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

Contents

The name of Woden Valley is taken from the name of a nearby homestead owned by Dr James Murray who named the homestead in October 1837 after the Old English god of wisdom, Woden. [3] He named it this as he was to spend his life in the pursuit of wisdom.[ citation needed ] However, historian Dr Harold Koch considers that the name may have its origins in the Aboriginal word for possum, either wadyan or wadhan, influenced in interpretation by the term known to English speakers of 'Woden'. [4]

In 1964 it was the first satellite city to be built, separate from the Canberra Central district. It has its own shopping centre, employment opportunities and accommodation with twelve suburbs arranged around the Woden Town Centre. At the 2021 census, the population of the district was 39,279. [1]

Establishment and governance

Following the transfer of land from the Government of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1911, the district was established in 1966 by the Commonwealth via the gazettal of the Districts Ordinance 1966 (Cth) which, after the enactment of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988, [5] became the Districts Act 1966. [6] This Act was subsequently repealed by the ACT Government and the district is now administered subject to the Districts Act 2002. [7]

Representation

Woden Valley is represented by:

Location and urban structure

The district is a set of contiguous residential suburbs that surround the Woden Town Centre, which includes a major shopping centre, called Westfield Woden, or more commonly known as Woden Plaza. Woden is also home to the tallest building in Canberra, Lovett Tower, which stands at 22 stories. [10] Lovett Tower and a number of other buildings host staff from Australian Government agencies; there is also some light industrial development in the town centre.

Within the district are a number of community facilities including the Phillip campus of the Canberra College, a secondary school catering to years 11 and 12 (16 – 18 years old); a library, the Woden Youth Centre, and the Canberra Hospital, which is located in the north of the district.

Early homesteads

In the mid-1920s following World War I, much of the Woden Valley was granted to returned soldiers under the soldier settlement lease scheme. Four of the earliest homesteads established in the valley were Yamba, Yarra Glen, Melrose and Illoura.

Yamba. In 1920, Walter Eddison was granted a soldier settlement lease on the 764 acres (309 ha) Woden Block 132, covering roughly the present-day suburbs of Phillip and Swinger Hill. [11] In 1925, he applied for an additional block and was granted the 1,601 acres (648 ha) Woden Block 28A, which extended further south covering the present-day suburbs of Pearce and Torrens. Walter initially continued to live at his property The Oaks in Queanbeyan while farming his new property, but then established his homestead Yamba on the property in 1926 and worked the land with his three sons, Tom, Keith and Jack. In 1929, 43 acres (17 ha) were withdrawn from block 28A for the construction of the Woden Cemetery (Woden Block 30). Walter's three sons all fought overseas during World War II, and sadly all three were killed and buried overseas. [12] The Yamba homestead was located in the vicinity of present-day 11 Irving Street, Phillip. Eddison Park in Woden is named in honour of the Eddison family. The main north–south arterial road passing to the east of central Woden was named Yamba Drive in honour of the former property.

Yarra Glen. Frank Gifford was granted a soldier settler lease on the 779 acres (315 ha) Woden Block 32 in 1920, and a lease on the adjacent 825 acres (334 ha) Block 39 in 1922, and named his property Yarra Glenn. [13] In August 1925, the two blocks were merged to become the smaller 1,200 acres (490 ha) Block 27A, which extended from the vicinity of the present-day Royal Australian Mint south to include the present-day suburb of Hughes. In 1927, Gifford sold the lease to George Campbell, a descendant of Robert Campbell of Duntroon. George worked the property with his two sons, Robert and Curtis. The Yarra Glen homestead was located near the intersection of present-day Carruthers Street and Yarra Glen, Curtin. The large conifer on the Yarra Glen median strip near the Carruthers Street overpass was once part of the homestead garden, and the row of large trees to the left (east) of the southbound Yarra Glen offramp were originally a windbreak for the homestead's garden. The main parkway connecting Woden Valley with central Canberra, constructed in 1966, was named Yarra Glenn after the former property.

Melrose. Jack Maguire was granted a 10-year soldier settler lease for the 994 acres (402 ha) Woden Block 25A in 1926. [14] His block covered much of present-day suburbs of Curtin, Lyons and Chifley. He initially called his property Oakey Hill and used it solely for grazing sheep. He built a home on the property in 1927, and renamed the property Melrose. There is a sign marking the location of the former homestead on the pathway between present-day Theodore Street and James Place, Curtin. Maguire farmed Melrose until 1963 when the land was resumed by the government to establish suburbs in Woden Valley. Melrose Drive and Melrose High School were named after the Maguire's property.

Illoura. Thomas Cargill was offered a ten-year soldier settlement lease for the 1,015 acres (411 ha) Woden Block 26A in 1926, which extended from present-day Curtin and Lyons across to present-day North Weston to the west. [15] In 1928 he sold his lease to Guy Tanner, and the Tanner family continued to farm the area until the property was resumed in the early 1970s. [16] Illoura homestead was located between present-day Tuggeranong Parkway and the edge of the present-day suburb of Curtin, in what is currently known as the Illoura agistment paddocks. The homestead was located just to the southeast of the Tuggeranong Parkway / Cotter Road intersection. A clump of large eucalyptus trees still visible to the left of where the southbound onramp meets the Parkway marks the former location of the homestead.

Residential development

In the early 1960s the National Capital Development Commission developed plans to establish 10 suburbs in the Woden Valley to house an estimated 55,000 residents. Work commenced on the first two suburbs, Hughes and Curtin, in late-1962. [17] Some of the first homes built in Curtin were advertised for £6,870 to £8,055. [18] Hughes was officially declared open on 9 May 1964. [19] Chifley and Lyons were the next suburbs to be developed (1965), followed by Garran, Pearce and Torrens (1966), Mawson, Farrer and Phillip (1966), O'Malley (1973) and Isaacs (1986).

By late-1965, in the earlier stages of Woden Valley's development, there were complaints from local residents that the new suburbs lacked shopping and recreational facilities, and the first schools in the area, such as Curtin Primary, were overcrowded as surrounding suburbs were developed. [20]

The first section of Hindmarsh Drive, connecting Woden Valley with Fyshwick and South Canberra, opened in December 1966. [21] Yarra Glen, connecting Woden Valley with the City, opened in November 1967. [22]

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
2001 census 31,336    
2006 census 31,992+2.1%
2011 census 32,958+3.0%
2016 census 34,760+5.5%
2021 census 39,279+13.0%
[23] [24] [25] [26] [1]

At the 2021 census, there were 34,760 people in the Woden Valley district, of these 48.7 per cent were male and 51.3 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.4 per cent of the population, which was lower than the national and territory averages. The median age of people in the Woden Valley district was 39 years, which was slightly higher than the national median of 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 17.4 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 18.5 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 50.4 per cent were married and 10.1 per cent were either divorced or separated. The median weekly income for residents within the Woden Valley district was significantly higher than the national average, and similar to the territory average. [1]

At the 2021 census, the most common ancestries reported in the Woden Valley area were English (31.7 per cent), Australian (29.4 per cent), Irish (12.9 per cent), Scottish (10.7 per cent) and Indian (4.9 per cent). 40.3 per cent of residents described themselves as having "No Religion", higher than the national average at 38.4 per cent. Households in the Woden Valley district had a slightly higher than average proportion (27.5 per cent) where a language other than English was spoken at home (national average was 24.8 per cent); and a slightly lower proportion (71.0 per cent) where only English was spoken at home (national average was 72.0 per cent). [1]

Selected historical census data for the Woden Valley district
Census year2001 [23] 2006 [24] 2011 [25] 2016 [26] 2021 [1]
PopulationEstimated residents on census night31,33631,99232,95834,76039,279
District rank in terms of size within the Australian Capital Territory4thSteady2.svg 4thDecrease2.svg 5thSteady2.svg 5thSteady2.svg 5th
Percentage of the Australian Capital Territory population9.23%8.75%7.11%
Percentage of the Australian population0.17%Decrease2.svg 0.16%Decrease2.svg 0.15%Steady2.svg 0.15%Steady2.svg 0.15%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
English 24.1%23.7%31.7%
Australian 24.6%21.4%29.4%
Irish 10.0%9.9%12.9%
Scottish 7.6%7.2%10.7%
Indian 4.0%4.9%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Nepali Increase2.svg 2.6%
Mandarin 0.9%Increase2.svg 1.2%Increase2.svg 1.4%Increase2.svg 2.2%Increase2.svg 2.3%
Malayalam Increase2.svg 0.9%Increase2.svg 2.2%Decrease2.svg 1.3%
Italian 1.4%Decrease2.svg 1.3%Decrease2.svg 1.2%Decrease2.svg 1.1%
Tamil 0.9%
Greek 1.1%Steady2.svg 1.1%Steady2.svg 1.1%Decrease2.svg 0.9%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No Religion 19.5%Increase2.svg 23.0%Increase2.svg 27.7%Increase2.svg 32.3%Increase2.svg 40.3%
Catholic 28.2%Decrease2.svg 27.9%Decrease2.svg 27.5%Decrease2.svg 25.5%Decrease2.svg 21.3%
Anglican 18.7%Decrease2.svg 16.2%Decrease2.svg 14.0%Decrease2.svg 10.2%Decrease2.svg 8.4%
Hinduism n/cn/cIncrease2.svg 2.6%Increase2.svg 3.4%Increase2.svg 6.2%
Uniting Church 4.6%Steady2.svg 4.2%Decrease2.svg 3.4%Decrease2.svg 2.6%
Median weekly incomes
Personal incomeMedian weekly personal incomeA$769A$948A$1,044A$1,265
Percentage of Australian median income165%Decrease2.svg 164%Decrease2.svg 158%Decrease2.svg 157%
Family incomeMedian weekly family incomeA$1,884A$2,390A$2,554A$3,106
Percentage of Australian median income160%Increase2.svg 161%Decrease2.svg 147%Steady2.svg 147%
Household incomeMedian weekly household incomeA$1,471A$1,824A$2,040A$2,375
Percentage of Australian median income143%Increase2.svg 148%Decrease2.svg 142%Decrease2.svg 136%
Dwelling structure
TypeSeparate house69.4%Decrease2.svg 68.3%Decrease2.svg 68.0%Decrease2.svg 63.5%Decrease2.svg 58.3%
Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc.12.5%Increase2.svg 15.0%Decrease2.svg 13.4%Increase2.svg 20.4%Increase2.svg 20.3%
Flat, unit or apartment17.5%Decrease2.svg 16.4%Increase2.svg 18.6%Decrease2.svg 15.9%Increase2.svg 21.3%

List of suburbs

Places of note and interest

The Sirius building, head office of the Department of Health, located in the Woden Town Centre. Sirius Building at Woden in November 2012.jpg
The Sirius building, head office of the Department of Health, located in the Woden Town Centre.

Churches

Sport

Woden Valley is a vital area when it comes to sport in the Territory. Its association football club, Woden Valley FC (Woden Rival), is very popular amongst juniors. Woden Valley also has a rugby league team Woden Rams and an Australian rules football team (Woden Blues). It also has a tenpin bowling centre and produced NSW champion and award-winning sports journalist Reagan Murphy, who lived in Garran and attended Woden Valley High School in the 1970s.[ citation needed ]

Natural disasters

Bushfires

While the majority of the destruction caused by the 2003 Canberra bushfires occurred in the Weston Creek district, in the Woden Valley suburbs of Curtin, three houses were destroyed; in Lyons, four houses; and in Torrens, two houses. [28] Curtin, in particular, has been threatened by bushfires several times since its construction.[ citation needed ]

Floods

On Australia Day in 1971 a flash flood at Yarra Glen killed seven people. The drains and roads in the area have since been redesigned to avoid future flood casualties. [29]

See also

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Yarra Glen is a major grade separated arterial road in Canberra. It is 3 km (1.9 mi) in length connects South Canberra to the Woden Valley district. It links at its northern end to Adelaide Avenue, and at its southern end to Melrose Drive and Yamba Drive via a large roundabout. It was designed to have no traffic lights nor cross roads on it.

Yamba Drive Road in Canberra, Australia

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Woden (SA3)". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 September 2022. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. "Districts Ordinance 1966 No. 5 (ACT)" (PDF).
  3. Wilson, Gwendoline. Murray of Yarralumla. p. 81.
  4. "How did the town centre of Woden come to be named after a Norse god?". ABC News. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  5. Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth)
  6. Districts Act 1966 (ACT).
  7. Districts Act 2002 (ACT).
  8. "Home - ACT Legislative Assembly".
  9. "Home - Woden Valley Community Council Woden Valley Community Council".
  10. Towell, Noel; Clisby, Meredith; Page, Fleta (5 March 2014). "Welcome to Woden: tallest tower to empty as public service job cuts hit hub hard". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014.
  11. Blocks 132 & 28A Woden District – 'Yamba', Archives ACT website, Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  12. NX60320 Private Jack Osbaldeston Eddison, Australian Embassy Tokyo website, Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  13. Blocks 27A, 32 & 39 Woden District - Property Name: 'Yarra Glen', Archives ACT website, Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  14. Block 25A Woden District - Property Names: 'Oakey Hill' or 'Melrose', Archives ACT website, Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  15. Blocks 40 & 26A Woden District – Property Name: 'Illoura' Archives ACT, Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  16. ArchivesACT, Retrieved 8 January 2018
  17. The Canberra Times, 21 Nov 1962, p.7
  18. The Canberra Times, 09 May 1964, p.31
  19. The Canberra Times, 09 May 1964, p.4
  20. The Canberra Times, 01 Oct 1965, p.8
  21. The Canberra Times, 13 Dec 1966, p.4
  22. The Canberra Times, 17 Nov 1967, p.1
  23. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Woden Valley (SSD)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  24. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Woden Valley (SSD)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  25. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Woden (SA3)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 December 2013. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  26. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Woden (SA3)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 November 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  27. "Graffiti sites". Territory and Municipal Services . ACT Government. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  28. "Canberra Bushfires Fieldwork" (PDF). Geoscience Australia. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  29. EMA Disasters Database Archived 24 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine