Women in the making of Canberra - Settling

Lady Garran

Lady Garran
By permission of the National Library of Australia

Settling in Canberra has been made easier over the years by the actions of individual women towards newcomers. In the 1920s Lady Garran, wife of the Solicitor-General, took responsibility for welcoming newcomers. She travelled on the city buses and insisted that the conductor introduce her to any new face. She would then visit the newcomer with gifts of vegetables or other produce from her garden. Anne Dalgarno, a member of the ACT Advisory Council in the 1970s, was a mentor to newly arrived migrant women. In the 1990s, writer Peg Job's Narrabundah neighbours made her feel welcome.

It took a while to discover the treasures of Narrabundah. The many nations represented at the shopping centre, the small-town mix of children, old people, and dogs, the inner-city range of languages and cultures delightfully squandered in gardens and house decoration, the warmth and kindness of a suburb which is supposed to have a high crime rate

Peg Job, 'In Praise of Narrabundah', in Annie Bolitho and Mary Hutchison (eds), Stories of the Inner South, Arts Council of the ACT, 1992, pp49-50.

Anne Dalgarno

Anne Dalgarno
Courtesy of the Canberra Times

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Published by the National Foundation for Australian Women, March 2004