The electorate of Canberra is situated on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. It's name, and the name of our capital city, is derived from the Ngunnawal word Kamberra which roughly translates to 'Meeting Place'.
When the drafters of the modern Australian Constitution were debating where the new nation's capital would be, it was decided that a new city would be established to serve this role. Section 125 of the Australian constitution provides:
"The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney.
Such territory shall contain an area of not less than one hundred square miles, and such portion thereof as shall consist of Crown lands shall be granted to the Commonwealth without any payment therefor."
Canberra became that city.
The Electorate of Canberra was established in 1974 and has undergone several redistributions. In 2018, due to the growth of the ACT, the Australian Electoral Commission established a third seat for the territory, Bean, which encompassed most of the territory of the then Canberra electorate. The new Canberra electorate encompassed much of what was the southern part of Fenner and northern part of the old Division of Canberra. This remains the current Division of Canberra.
The electorate of Canberra encompasses:
Parts of Woden: Curtin, Hughes, Lyons and Garran.
The Inner South: Yarralumla, Deakin, Forrest, Parkes (Including Parliament House), Barton, Kingston, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah and Fyshwick.
Parts of Belconnen: Hawker, Weetangera, Macquarie, Cook, Aranda, Bruce, Lawson, Kaleen and Giralang.
The Inner North: Lyneham, Watson, Downer, O'Connor, Dickson, Hackett, Ainslie, Braddon, Turner, Acton, City, Reid, Campbell and Russell.
It also includes Oaks Estate and Beard on the border with New South Wales as well as Pialligo and the Canberra Airport.
If you live in these area’s I’m your local member.
As the nation's capital, Canberra has a special status in Australia. We're home to most of the national institutions including the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum, the National Library, the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives, the Royal Australian Mint, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Botanic Gardens and Questacon among others.
These institutions and our city more broadly has so much to offer - not just to Canberrans but to all Australians. I see part of my role as the Member for Canberra being to build national affection for our great city.
Canberra has a unique and stunning natural environment. Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie, Red Hill, Lake Burley Griffin, the Jerrabombera wetlands, Majura and Kowen can all be found in the Division of Canberra.
According to the 2021 Census, Canberra is home for 145,507 people, affectionatly know as Canberrans (or Ken Behrans). The median age of our city is 35 (compared to a national age of 38). Our community is culturally and linguistically diverse, with 33.6% of us being born overseas.
We have a high median income when compared to Australia which makes Canberra a particularly hard place to be poor. Hands Across Canberra's 'Vital Signs' Report paints a picture of our communities successes and the challenges we face.
I'm so proud to be the Representative of our fantastic, caring community and city in the Federal Parliament. My top priority is to represent the views of my community and deliver for our city.
I'm the 9th person to have the privilege to serve as the representative for the seat of Canberra. My predecessors are:
- Kep Enderby - Australian Labor Party - Served from 1974 - 1975
- John Haslem - Liberal Party - Served from 1975 - 1980
- Ros Kelly - Australian Labor Party - Served from 1980 - 1995
- Brendan Smyth - Liberal Party - Served from 1995 - 1996
- Bob McMullan - Australian Labor Party - Served from 1996 - 1998
- Annette Ellis - Australian Labor Party - Served from 1998 - 2010
- Gai Brodtmann - Australian Labor Party - Served from 2010 - 2019