Corinna's Canberra: Curtin

Corinna’s Canberra: Curtin

Image from Wikipedia Commons

Image from Wikipedia Commons

Curtin, which celebrated its 50th year in 2014, is the next suburb to be profiled in our series, Corinna’s Canberra. This suburb is located next to the suburbs of Yarralumla, Deakin, Hughes, Lyons and Weston and is bounded by the Cotter Road, Tuggeranong Parkway and Yarra Glen.

The first homes in Curtin were built in 1964. This suburb was one of four in Canberra where the Radburn model of suburb design was trialled. The Radburn model, developed in the United States, was intended to create pedestrian-friendly residential housing with all the homes facing on to a shared green space with no back fences. Other suburbs that made use of this unusual layout were Garran, Charnwood and a small section of Hughes (Source: Experimental Radburn Town planning disappearing from Canberra).

The suburb derives its name from former Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and its streets are named for state Premiers. Holding office from 1941 until 1945, Curtin was the country’s fourteenth Prime Minister. He was the only Australian Prime Minister to represent a Western Australian seat in the House of Representatives, and led Australia during the most critical phase of World War II. However, like his United States counterpart, Franklin Roosevelt, Curtin did not live to see the final victory. At 4 am on 5 July 1945, in The Lodge, the Prime Minister’s residence in Canberra, he became only the second Australian Prime Minister to die in office, barely six weeks before the Japanese capitulation was announced on 15 August (Source: Curtin University).

The suburb of Curtin is also infamous as it was the site of the deadliest natural disaster in Canberra’s history. A total of seven people, including four children, died when the Yarralumla Creek flooded during a storm on Australia Day in 1971. In 2010, a Memorial was built near Yarra Glenn in honour of the seven victims who died in this tragic event. All of them were aged under 20 years.

Today, Curtin is a vibrant suburb. It is home to two primary schools, Curtin Primary and Holy Trinity Primary. The closest secondary school is Alfred Deakin High School in Deakin. It also offers a supermarket, post office, newsagent, bank, real estate agent, TAB, greengrocer, and many cafes and restaurants. In fact, one of the longest running cafes in the area, the Curtin Milk Bar, still boasts its original format from the 1970s and is very popular! Curtin is a lovely suburb that is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.