My Gungahlin Story by Melanie Black

08 Apr, 2014



My Gungahlin story began in earnest in 2005 when I moved into a small, grey duplex on Anthony Rolfe Avenue all the way from Perth, W.A. with my three young children. Prior to 2005, I had visited my parent’s many times on holiday here and I vividly remember my Mum driving me out to the ‘new Woolies’ that had just been built in Gungahlin town centre. She liked to do her shopping out there she said, because there were hardly any people and lots of car parks.

The Woolworths supermarket was surrounded by bulldozers and mud paddocks, all ready for the new Big W to be built. Mum and I shared a coffee while the kids ate hot chips from the take away shop out the front (long gone now). I had no idea of just how quickly this little town centre was going to develop and take off.

When I came to live in Gungahlin in mid-2005 it was a time of drought; I remember the cracked, parched earth running through my tiny patch of front lawn and not being able to water it due to the severe restrictions. The constant pillars of smoke coming from all the housing developments being built up around us, the beeping of reversing trucks, the rumblings of the earth moving equipment and always, the dust. The strange and unfamiliar architecture, the stream of town houses and duplexes running the length of my street. I remember having to get used to lane ways and parking around the back. Remembering street names in Gungahlin was like memorising a phone book.

Everything was new. It was an opportunity to be a part of a community where we were all on equal footing. Everybody had come from someplace else. New schools were being built, new daycares and community centres - it was a chance to be a part of a landscape that was wanting more colour and complexity to it. I loved it then and now, almost 9 years later I’m still loving our time here. There might not be as many carparking spaces at Woolies these days, and the main street in Gungahlin is certainly not quiet anymore but it still feels like that little village I first met many years ago, under a large blue sky surrounded by the brown hills and gum trees. I can still hear the beeping of reversing trucks and see the pillars of smoke from the bulldozers and I know yet another town house complex is going up, but Gungahlin is home for me, never mind the dust.

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