Exhibition to link big birthday cities 

THE Canberra Museum and Gallery is seeking contributions from Goulburn locals to find some of the ‘hidden’ links between Goulburn and Canberra for a new exhibition opening in March.

The exhibition, which will form part of Canberra’s centenary celebrations, will include an exploration of the diverse connections between Goulburn and the National Capital.

“When you look at the relationship between the two cities in more detail, it’s amazing how many connections begin to jump out at you.

Goulburn has played an important part in Canberra’s history and we’d like to acknowledge that in the exhibition,” curator Sharon Bulkeley said.

The earliest established link, long before the two cities even existed, was formed by the Ngunnawal people of the ACT region and the Gundungurra people of Southern NSW. These two tribes came together for trade and ceremonial business every year, and their descendants are still in contact today.

Some of Goulburn’s early pioneers moved to Canberra, including Mary Cunningham (nee Twynam) who had previously lived at Riversdale Homestead. Mary would return to Goulburn several times throughout her life, sadly once as a patient at the old Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital.

The long-arm of the law also stretched to Canberra, with infamous bushranger John Tennant brought to justice by the Goulburn Police Force and sentenced in the local court to seven years on Norfolk Island.

Fierce rivalries have long run deep between the two cities in sports as varied as union, rugby, hockey and tennis. In later years some of Goulburn’s finest sporting talent has moved to Canberra to further their careers.

The cities are also linked by one of the busiest road transport corridors in Australia – the Hume Highway. Thousands of people – commuters, tourists, truck drivers travel the road everyday as they make their way between the two cities, often as part of an onward journey.

A part of Goulburn is also sitting in Canberra’s most recognisable and important building – Australian Parliament House. Wool sourced in Goulburn was used by Canberrabased artist Fay Skyring in her commission to design and fabricate hand-woven fabrics for the three main suites of the house – the Leader of the Opposition sitting room, Speaker’s Suite and the Prime Minister’s Office.

A strong spiritual link also exists between the two cities and their surrounding areas.

Over 200,000 individuals are ministered to by the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

If you have a good story about a link between Goulburn and Canberra, be it historical or modern, serious or quirky, the curators of CMAG would love to hear from you. Contact Sharon Bulkeley on (02) 6207 0999 or email at Sharon.bulkeley@act.gov.au The exhibition will open in March and run for approximately three months.

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