Thursday 21st April 2011
Share Your ‘Sunken Stories of Old Acton’: Community Session No. 1

Do you remember Acton before Lake Burley Griffin was filled? Here’s you chance to dust off your photo albums, and recall old tales and anecdotes. During this year’s Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, we are inviting the Canberra community to share their fond memories of Acton from days past, as part of the ACT Heritage funded project “Sunken Stories of Old Acton.”

Following the arrival of Commonwealth surveyors in 1909, Acton Settlement was to become Canberra’s first ‘suburb’, and remained the administrative and social centre for the next forty years. The area included two golf clubs, a racecourse, 15 workers’ cottages, a riverside tourist park, Australian Rules football, rugby, cricket field and hockey fields, a plant nursery, and most importantly, a close-knit and vibrant community. With the creation of Lake Burley Griffin after the Molonglo River was dammed in 1963-4, much of this early history was lost from view.

Acton Walkways will bring this history to life, starting with two community sessions for members of the public to bring in their old photographs, slides, letters, and family stories for scanning into digital formats. Facilitators will also be available to help residents record their short stories and anecdotes on audio or video, booked in 20-minute time slots. The memorabilia will be used (with permission) to produce compilations available for download online for residents and visitors exploring the Acton precinct.

“This project aims to add new voices to those already collected by many dedicated Canberra historians, and present these in a digital format that is accessible and appealing to younger and future generations,” says Kirsty Guster from Acton Walkways.

“This is a great opportunity for members of the community to have their old Acton stories and photos preserved, for their own family libraries and the benefit of the broader community. In addition to raising public awareness of the early history of Acton, we hope to encourage younger Canberrans to be curious about their cultural heritage, and inspire cross-generational dialogue.”

Date: Thursday April 21, 1pm to 4pm
(An earlier session wil be held on Monday April 18 from 10am - 1pm)

: The Canberry Room, Crawford Building,
Lennox Crossing, ANU, (next to Old Canberra House, Acton). The Canberry Room is located on the ground floor of the Crawford School. Enter from the main courtyard at Old Canberra House.

If you would like more information, or to schedule a time to bring in your photos or to record a story on audio and video, contact us by email,  phone 0437 301 390, or by sending a message on the 'Contact Us' page on this website.

Photo: The Acton Memorial, erected behind the Acton Peninsula Wharf in 2004 to commemorate the old Acton suburb and its residents. Photo Bradley Cummings

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