May 24 Newsletter

AGM – Wednesday 27 March 2024

Our guest speaker, Chair of the Interim Heritage Council, Duncan Marshall AM, spoke about the history of heritage, the work of the Interim Heritage Council and the recent heritage reviews. The reviews chart a way forward for the ACT heritage system with two broad areas of change relating to Aboriginal heritage and to government administration. A key component to successful change is resources. A transcript of Duncan’s address & the draft minutes of the AGM can be found on our website.

The President, Marianne Albury-Colless, thanked all those who have contributed to the work of the RRA; the ACT Government for grant funding; and various organisations for their important contribution to our community. She commented that, while much has changed since Canberra was declared Australia’s national capital, our sturdy houses still stand and there are lessons to learn from the history of this small housing precinct: sound building methods & materials, adaptive reuse, multiple tree plantings, resolve and adaptability, and elements and/or values that are well worth fighting for. So, the RRA tries to provide sensible input to various inquiries in 2023, both in written submissions and in person.

In addition, the RRA has been active in a number of community and heritage events and currently is working on:

  • a Conservation Management Plan with Philip Leeson Architects
  • planning an 80th Anniversary RRA dinner
  • scoping a 100th anniversary celebration of the gazetting of our beautiful Reid in 1927.

The new committee is listed at the end of this newsletter. We welcome Gary Fan and bid farewell to Amanda Reynolds who we thank for her tireless work over many years.

Reid Park Sports Ground Conservation Management Plan (CMP)

Thanks to everyone who filled out the stakeholder survey that will contribute to the development of the Reid Park Sports Ground CMP. Thank you also to the sleuth who found tender documents advertised in 1972 for the building of the sports ground change rooms.

We are still keen for stories and photographs of activities on the grounds so please contact us at if you have something you think might be of interest.

Report of the inquiry into fostering and promoting the significance of Australia’s National Capital, Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories.

You might be interested to see that the recommendations of this Report released on 6 May 2023 and titled A Capital for All Australians include:

  • Commonwealth Government to prioritise the Sydney to Canberra rail connectivity and capacity project to improve passenger services and travel time including additional train services and carriages.
  • Better access (including digital) and improved transport links to all the national institutions.
  • Upgrading of the Canberra stadium infrastructure
  • Promotion of Commonwealth and National Heritage Listed sites within the National Capital

All long overdue perhaps?

ACT Heritage Festival

On Friday 26 April the RRA hosted an event for the ACT Heritage Festival called: Conspiracies, continuity and connections. Over 30 people enjoyed a walk through our suburb, hearing stories about Reid personalities & finishing at the Tennis Club for a traditional afternoon tea. The weather was beautiful, the speakers interesting, our audience very engaged with their questions and comments and the afternoon tea delicious. Thank you to all those who helped make this such a successful event particularly the Reid Tennis Club – the setting was perfect.

A group of people standing around a table with tea cups and saucers

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Anne, a long time Reid resident, serving afternoon tea. Ann gave a charming talk about her childhood climbing trees, playing marbles, strawberry tree fights and not coming home until someone’s Mum sang out to come inside for dinner.

Your Say Conversations

The ACT Government has published the results of last year’s Your Say conversation about Heritage. Over 1,200 Panel members completed the survey to provide a baseline measure of community attitudes, perceptions and understanding of heritage issues in the ACT. Among the findings was that:

  • a solid majority (90%) of participants thought that ‘it’s important to conserve the ACT’s history’.
  • awareness of the heritage council was high.
  • although most respondents (77%) indicated that they were interested to learn about the ACT’s history, this did not translate into most having an interest to attend the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival (only 30% likely to attend).

The survey results will be used to inform ongoing communications with the public on heritage issues and events. The full report can be found at

ACT Heritage Council – update

On 21 April The Canberra Times reported Duncan Marshall as saying that ‘The great problem is that if we don’t get more resources, the problems that afflicted the previous council could come back again and we could be back in a muddle again in terms of how the heritage system operates’. As mentioned in his AGM address, Duncan believes that more staff are needed in the heritage unit to address backlogs and to engage with the community and development sectors.

The interim council will now be reappointed for permanent terms, with the addition of two Indigenous representatives. The council has also been tasked with considering the impact of climate change on how heritage sites should be preserved. The Heritage Amendment Bill 2024, currently before the Assembly, is to make policy, technical and editorial amendments to the Heritage Act 2004 including an additional public representative and Aboriginal Community Representative on the Council.

More pressure on Glebe Park?

There is a proposal to build a new precinct, One Binara, to ‘create a new lifestyle precinct adjacent to Glebe Park, comprising two new hotels, a diversity of apartments, fresh new retail, and connections and shared ways for residents, hotel guests, students and the local community to enjoy’. The proposed buildings will be 14 storeys tall with some overshadowing of Glebe Park, and a new shared way unlocking the southern part of Glebe Park.

A public information session is scheduled for 4.30 pm 15 May in the Griffin Room at the Crowne Plaza. More information is at

An oak by any other name

The oaks that line Booroondara Street are much admired and are listed on the ACT Tree Register These protected trees are commonly thought to be Quercus lusitanica or Lusitanian oaks which originated from Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Given there are many hundreds of different types of oaks, identifying a species is not always easy. There is now some question as to whether these oaks are Q. lusitanica. This becomes important when the occasional tree, in an avenue this special, is replaced. If you know more, please get in touch.

Residents of Reid

One of our new residents has a long connection with Reid. Sarah’s great grandmother, Annastacia Sullivan, along with her sister Pauline Sullivan were pupils at St John’s Church. They lived at

Springbank, and would travel by horse and buggy to school across the plains now under water as part of Lake Burley Griffin. Her great great grandmother, Anastasia Pike, was one of ten children and she married William Sullivan. She was born and raised in Tuggeranong near the Tuggeranong Homestead. Annastacia would talk about travelling to and from school watching out for bushrangers! And yes, the Anastasias spelled their names differently.

ACT Neighbourhood Watch – Reid crime statistics

February 2024 March 2024 April 2024
Ainslie Ave Assault other

Other property damage

Other property damage Assault other

Other theft

Allambee St Burglary dwellings

Other theft

Assault causing GBH Burglary dwellings

Motor vehicle theft

Other property damage x 3

Constitution Ave Bicycle theft

Other theft

Other theft
Cooyong St Other property damage Motor vehicle theft

Other theft

Other property damage
Currong St
Euree St Burglary dwellings
Elimatta St Burglary dwellings
Gooreen St Assault other

Burglary dwellings

Other property damage

Other property damage x 2
Kogarah Lane Bicycle theft

Please note that a young resident of Reid coming home from work was assaulted by two men last Saturday at 9. 30 pm in Binara Street, close to Glebe Park. Luckily, he was able to fight them off & was not seriously injured. He has reported the incident to the AFP.

From the Archives

It’s interesting to reflect that conversations about the cost of housing are not new. Almost a hundred years ago, in 1926, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works reported on the proposed erection of cottages in Canberra. In planning for the opening of Parliament in Canberra in 1927, it was intended that each Department would be represented by a small nucleus of staff. This changed in 1926 when the Government decided to transfer 450 officials instead of an estimated 160 people.

So, to work. By May 1926 three tenders to build new houses had been accepted – each for about 100 houses. The brick houses worked out at about £1,243 and the concrete at about £1,225. The Committee’s investigations took them to Adelaide to inspect dwellings being constructed under the ‘Thousand Homes’ scheme and to Sydney to visit the brick houses being erected by the War Service Homes Commission.

The Committee tried to ascertain the relative costs of houses in Melbourne as compared with Canberra and found that the average cost of brick houses owned by public servants in Melbourne was £1,144 and in Canberra £1,727. After looking at the cost of building, the value of the land, the extra such as a fuel store and tool shed and the rates, they concluded that payment for these homes was simply too much for the average public servant who would be occupying the cottages.

But it wasn’t just the cost. The Chairman, Public Service (Canberra) Committee, pointed out several features of the Canberra designs that were regarded by the officials as objectionable, the principal ones being that the front door and main entrance opened directly into the living room and that the rooms were too small.

The Committee’s report notes that, ‘The question of providing comfortable homes for persons on low salaries is one that is attracting attention in all parts of the world, and has not yet been satisfactorily solved. It is obvious that, to bring the prices more within the reach of those officials, something must be sacrificed in the quality of the houses provided’.

Weeds of Reid – Cotoneaster

Many early plantings in Reid wouldn’t be planted now. They have done far too well and have become invasive. One of these is Cotoneaster. Part of the rose family, it is related to other problem plants such as hawthorns, firethorns, photinias and rowans. While some birds love the berries, they spread them far and wide into bushland where they displace species that should be there. If you don’t feel you want to remove cotoneasters from your garden, perhaps you could remove the berries or seed heads and reduce the spread. This strategy can also be used for other invasive species such as the sleeper weed, agapanthus.




St John’s Anglican Church

45 Constitution Avenue


Canberra Korean Uniting Church

56 Coranderrk Street


St Peter’s Lutheran Church

Boolee Street


Reid Tennis Club est 1928

17A Dirrawan Gardens


RRA Committee 2023–24 Contact via:

President: Marianne Albury-Colless Secretary: Robyn Bergin Treasurer & Public Officer: Roy Jordan Committee: Anne Buttsworth AM, Sue Byrne, Gary Fan, John Henderson and Molly Henman