Ginninderry

The Ginninderry site has a very long history of aboriginal occupation; the Birrigai Rock Shelter in the southern ACT has been dated to 21,000 years before present and it is reasonable to assume that the Ginninderry area was also occupied at that time. European settlement commenced in the first half of the 19th century, and led to the utilisation of the land for sheep and cattle grazing and for crops. Prominent early European landholders included Charles Sturt and the Campbell family of Yarralumla. The heritage background of the site is very rich and has been recorded in a series of technical studies by consultants with expertise in aboriginal and european archaeology and anthropology. The european heritage reports are available in the Reports Library  

Heritage legislation requires that aboriginal heritage reports which identify sites and objects of heritage significance must remain confidential to ensure that the sites and objects are not interfered with or damaged, consequently these reports are not publicly available. If you have a particular interest in the aboriginal heritage of the area please contact the ACT Heritage Unit.

Naming Ginninderry

Ginninderry is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “throwing out little rays of light” or simply “sparkling”. It’s a very appropriate name for a community that will be bounded by the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek. Over time, the word has taken various forms, including Ginninginninderry, Ghinninghinninderra and Gingininderra, with recent linguistic work by AIATSIS suggesting Djinindirri. Ginninderry was first used for one of the early homesteads in the area including the creek that bordered its land.

It’s had various iterations over time: Ginninginninderry, Gingininderra and Ginninderra. After extensive consultation, it was decided that Ginninderry, and its reference to the stunning river corridor that runs through the land, was a name that had both historical provenance and contemporary relevance.

While the first stages of Ginninderry will take shape within the ACT, the community will eventually extend across the border into NSW (subject to rezoning approval). In the earliest days of white settlement, all this land was selected by the explorer Charles Sturt and from an Aboriginal heritage perspective the land and waterways are a single, special place. Ginninderry follows a historic precedent in reuniting the areas on both sides of the border.

Back to top