Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Shaping Canberra: The Lived Experience of Place, Home and Capital

17-20 September 2013

Shaping Canberra is presented by the Humanities Research Centre as a contribution to the Big Issues Big Talk Centenary of Canberra program

Conference Report

 Image: Ruth Hingston, Dividing the Farm, 2012 

Humanities Research Centre Centenary of Canberra Conference

Venue: Australian National University, Sir Roland Wilson Building #120

Shaping Canberra will generate new national scholarly discussion about the lived experience of Canberra as a place, home and capital. It starts from the position that the local and national dimensions of Canberra are not opposing or even separate aspects, but deeply entwined. On this basis it asks participants to consider how the local, national (and international) play out in instances and reflections of Canberra’s life and development in the context of four themes: histories and memories, collections and archives, spaces and places; expressions and interpretations. International and national as well as local speakers will be part of the program which aims to create a lively community of discussion across disciplines and practices, and establish a basis for further research and discussion. 

Shaping Canberra: events

Conference, 17-20 September
Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU (registration required)

Exhibition, 18 September-19 October
Opening 18 September 6.00pm
Venue: ANU School of Art Gallery

Organized Tours - both on Thursday19 September
Tour 1 - Ken Taylor's Canberra City in the Landscape tour
Tour 2 - Acton Walkways tour

Free Public Lecture, 16 September 12.30 – 2.00pm
Diversity in the Museum- the example of Copenhagen
Mr Jakob Parby, Curator, Museum of Copenhagen
In association with HRC public culture lecture series
Venue: Canberra Museum and Gallery, Cnr London Circuit & Civic Square, Canberra City
Bookings essential - limited spaces
RSVP: T: 02 6207 3968 or
by Monday 16 September

Public Workshop, Shaping sustainable urbanism: are garden cities the answer?
16 September 10.00-1.00pm
Dr Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism at the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Sustainable Communities
Venue: University House
Bookings essential, please see website

Free Public Lecture, 17 September 6.00pm
Canberra: An international heritage perspective
Professor Ron van Oers, Vice Director,
World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific
Venue: Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia
Bookings essential:

Free Public Lecture
Whose memories, whose records: when the archival legacy of a colonial past meets the cultural records of a post-colonial future
Jeannette A. Bastian, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston
25 September 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Coombes Lecture Theatre, Fellows Road, ANU

Public workshop, 24 September 9.00am-5.00pm
Building an archival memory of Canberra
Led by Professor Jeannette Bastian, Simmons College, Boston, USA
Convened by Joanna Sassoon
In association with the Australian Society of Archivists
Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU
(registration required)

Free Public Workshop, 1 October 2.00-5.00pm
Writing the history of communities
Associate Professor Nicholas Brown, ANU and
Professor Kate Darian-Smith, University of Melbourne
Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU

Public Workshop, 4 October 9.30 – 4.30
What Canberra is that?
Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU
(registration required)

Dr Mary Hutchison, Visiting Fellow, HRC. 

Leena Messina, Programs Manager, HRC. T: 61 (02) 6125 4357. E:


Updated: 2 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration