Australian Capital Territory
City map plan of Canberra
|Population||410,301 (2017) (8th)|
|• Density||503.932/km2 (1,305.18/sq mi)|
|Established||12 March 1913|
|Elevation||578 m (1,896 ft)|
|Area||814.2 km2 (314.4 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||AEDT (UTC+11:00)|
Canberra (/ˈkænbərə/ (listen)) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory; 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.
On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies of Australia was achieved. Section 125 of the new Australian Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. Following discussion and exploration of various areas within New South Wales, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed in 1908 which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The land was transferred to the Commonwealth by New South Wales in 1911 creating the Australian Capital Territory, two years prior to the capital city being founded and formally named as Canberra in 1913.
It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state, similar to Washington, D.C. in the United States or Brasília in Brazil. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins' plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred on axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory. The city's design was influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation.
As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is home to many important institutions of the federal government, national monuments and museums. This includes Parliament House, the official residence of the monarch's representative the Governor-General, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance such as the Australian War Memorial, the Australian National University, the Royal Australian Mint, the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Gallery, the National Museum and the National Library. The city is also home to many important institutions of the Australian Defence Force including the Royal Military College Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy. It also hosts the majority of foreign embassies in Australia as well as regional headquarters of many international organisations, not-for-profit groups, lobbying groups and professional associations.
Canberra does not have a local council or city government like other Australian cities. The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly performs the roles of