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Unit 1
Federation and the Formation of the National Capital

Choosing the Site of the National Capital

Setting the scene

Choosing the site of the National Capital was not an easy task. In 1902, members of Federal Parliament began inspections of possible sites. After years of dispute, in 1908 it was declared that the district of Yass-Canberra, in southern New South Wales , would become the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth.

Blundells’ Cottage, one of the cottages of Duntroon Estate, catering for the property workers, exists today on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin as a reminder of life before the area became the National Capital. The residents of Duntroon Estate were one group of many that would be affected by a dramatic social and cultural change.

What to do

Imagine you are the Federal Government Minister attempting to gain support for the National Capital site among the workers on Duntroon Estate.

Produce a poster aimed at the workers and include the following:

Be creative

Divide into small groups and debate for and against having the National Capital in the Yass-Canberra district. One group can act as if it represents the Minister’s office and the opposing group can represent the disgruntled workers from Duntroon Estate.