Canberra

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Canberra

Canberra (kăn´bərə), city (1991 pop. 276,162), capital of Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory, SE Australia. The Canberra urban agglomeration includes a small area in New South Wales. The federal government is the largest employer in Canberra; there are also printing and service industries. The site chosen (1908) for the capital city was first settled in 1824. In 1913, Canberra officially became the second capital of the commonwealth (succeeding Melbourne); however, although the Parliament first met there in 1927, the transfer of federal functions was not completed until after World War II and the striking Parliament House, on Capitol Hill, was not opened until 1988. The city was planned by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin. In 2003 parts of Canberra were ravaged by drought-intensified wildfires; the facilities of Mount Stromlo Observatory were among the buildings destroyed. Canberra is the seat of the Duntroon Royal Military College, Australian National Univ., the National Gallery, the Australian War Memorial, the National Library, the National Museum of Australia, the Academy of Science, and other research and scientific institutions.

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