Monday, May 3, 2010

Canberra - the Capital City of Australia

We got an email from our friends in Israel. They are learning about capital cities around the world and asked us some questions about the capital of Australia. As we're learning about Australia this term, this worked out perfectly and we've learned some things too! Here are their questions and our answers.

1. What is your capital city?
The capital of Australia is Canberra (many people think it's Sydney, but it isn't!). The name is from an Aboriginal word, Kanbarra, meaning "meeting place".

2. When was the declaration of the city as a capital?
After Australian became a nation in 1901, we needed to choose a capital city. Melbourne and Sydney (the two largest cities) both wanted to be chosen, but it was decided instead to build a special city especially made to be the Australian capital. A section of land, part way between Sydney and Melbourne, was set aside and it was named the "Australian Capital Territory" and this is where Canberra was built. The site was chosen in 1908 and building begin in 1913.

3. What are the government institutions in the city?
Canberra is where all of the Members of the Australian Parliament meet to make decisions about our country.The building they meet in is called Parliament House. Here is a picture of it.
There is also the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Gallery, the National Museum and many other places of national interest.

4. Is there an embassy in the city?
There are many embassies in Canberra, including an Israeli one! This is what the entrance looks like.
5. What is the symbol of the city?
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has a few symbols. The flag has the Southern Cross (which is a constellation seen mainly from the Southern Hemisphere) and the Canberra Coat of Arms on it. It looks like this:
The Coat of Arms for Canberra includes 2 swans (one black and one white, representing the Aboriginal and European people). King George V granted the Coat of Arms in 1928.
The ACT also has the Royal Bluebell as its floral symbol.

We hope this answered all of your questions, Hanita and class. Let us know if you'd like to know anything else!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N


  1. Dear Smarties,

    Today we learned that Australia has a capital city, Canberra. Did you know that the official capital of Tanzania is Dodoma? Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam (where we live) used to be the capital city.

    We are now learning about the Human Body. Did you know that teeth are the strongest bones in our bodies? Our bones are stronger than airplane metal! We learned this fact from watching Bill Nye the Science Guy! ALSO did you guys know that your tongue is one of the strongest muscles in your body? AND Your heart is a pump that pumps blood throughout your body.

    We enjoy learning with you!

    From your friends,
    The Kung Fu Praying Mantids

  2. The kids were very excited to get your answers. It was very interesting to read about your capital city.
    The kids have raised some more questions like:

    Is your school near the capital?
    Do you visit your capital?
    What are the recommended sites in your capital?

    We would love to hear from you

    Very soon we will send you link to our blog and tell about our capital city.

    hanita and the class

  3. It was interesting looking at this post because we are also learning about symbols for New Zealand at school. We compared the NZ flag and we noticed that it is a bit different to your's! And we also noticed some things that are the same about the NZ and the ACT coat of arms.

  4. Why does your coat of arms have a flower on it? The New Zealand coat of arms has a silvr fern because that's our native flora and it's a symbol for the country. I Like the pictures and that there is not too muc words.

  5. Why does your southern cross have a extra star?
    Why do you havea blue bell on your coat of arms insted of a different flower?On our coat of arms we have a Maori person and a white person.

  6. Well our coat of arms has a white lady and a Maori chief on it.
    It was cool looking at the pictures.

  7. Why does yore flag have a swan isted of people? Why does it have a flower on the coat of arms? The New Zealand coat of arms has 2 silver ferns. The ACT flag has 5 stars and the New Zealand flag has 4 stars. GV

  8. The Australian flag has a sword on it and the New Zealand flag doesn't. The New Zealand coat of arms has 3 boats because people do lots of sailing here and also wheat for farming and sheep because there are lots of sheep here and 2 silver ferns.

  9. why do you have a swan instead of people and why do you have the swan in the different place is it similar to New zealinds flag because the countries are close to each other?
    by kcs

  10. The Australian flag has a shield and so does the New Zealand coat of arms. But the New Zealand flag is different it has a small union Jack flag in the corner and 4 red