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Her Say: Issue of the Week

Laura Peppas and Hayley O'Neill

In this new street series, we pick a hot topic of the week and ask for your thoughts…

This week we ask…

“Do you think the Northbourne public housing demolition will damage Canberra’s heritage?” 


“For me it’s less about the heritage aspect, and more about the people who are living there – many of them need to be close to facilities, so it’s pretty unfair if they are moved and have to find other options.” Jessica, 26, Reid. 


“In my opinion, everyone knows about them but I think they could be made a bit more attractive, because it’s the first thing people see when they drive past and the first impression when you see them is that the area could be improved. In terms of the people living in them, it could be a bit of an issue with relocation.” Claudia, 18, Lyneham. 


“I think it’s definitly important for our heritage to keep them there, for a good mix of old and new buildings. I also think the residents should be close to amenities.” Jade, 19, City. 

What do you think? We’d like to hear your thoughts too! If you have an opinion, leave your comment below and vote in our Her Say poll. 

Do you think the Northbourne public housing demolition will damage Canberra's heritage?

  • No (93%, 84 Votes)
  • Yes (7%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

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Photography by Hayley O’Neill. Feature image of woman with megaphone courtesy of Shutterstock. 


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author


Hayley O'Neill

Hayley O’Neill is a Canberra based fashion stylist and fashion editor for HerCanberra. Hayley works as a freelance stylist at Westfield Belconnen and Woden and began her career styling for The Work Diaries blog. Hayley has lots of experience dressing real people with every size, age, budget and body shape. More about the Author

  • AJ

    There seems to be some misinformation about what part of the housing is considered significant, the red brick buildings as shown in the image the story are not heritage protected, nor should they be.

    What is protected is the precinct at the Dickson end of Northbourne Ave, the Lyneham, Dickson and Owen Flats, designed for the NCDC by pioneer modern architect Sydney Ancher.

    These are a rare and significant collection of this type of housing as seen in Europe. While their condition is poor and they look unsightly, this is perhaps more due to the fact that some residents there have little respect for them.

    I am not an advocate for keeping them as they are in a time capsule, but I do support retention of an example of each type of building and adaptive reuse of a restored selection of the buildings to demonstrate significant mid century Australian modernist architecture.

    Like all architecture – beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what one person likes will be different to what others like, this is important to consider when making comments on these or any other buildings.

  • The renewal of public housing is a major long term program to provide homes that better meet the needs of tenants now and into the future.
    We know the scale of this change can create anxiety among tenants which is why an important part is having ongoing discussions with tenants.
    At the Community Services Directorate (which includes Housing ACT) we are part of the Linking into New Communities Taskforce that comprises both the ACT Government and community sector organisations.
    Through this Taskforce we have regular informal and formal discussions with affected tenants and discuss any issues they may be facing.
    We have already relocated former tenants of Dickson Flats where some were supported in their preference to remain in the inner north and others supported in their decisions to move to new areas.

  • Ak

    Seriously! They are an eye sore and an embarrassment. Northbourne Avenue is the major road into the city and we welcome visitors with this! It’s disgusting and they need to be demolished wothout hesitation.

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