6 January 2024

Brilliant strategy to explore Canberra’s ‘cultural icons’

| Rama Gaind
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Parliament House

Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Rama Gaind.

”Made of Australia” is a simple story, immediately captivating, confidently communicated and visually stunning.

”The Cultural Icons”, an advertising campaign, reinforces what we already know: Australia’s capital is worth visiting!

Canberra is home to 13 of Australia’s most iconic cultural institutions, and for the first time in history, these organisations have collaborated to provide unique perspectives of Australia’s story.

Every once in a while, we’re taken aback and forced to reassess all that we take for granted. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. We lose sight of living life and focus on survival. Such is the case with living in Canberra. We should revel in our magnificent surrounds, a fact that was brought home to me by my grandchildren last week. Together we rediscovered a new way of appreciating what’s in our own backyard.

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We’ve seen the Cultural Icons campaign as pictures tell an uplifting, enthusiastic story in the attention-grabbing promotional video to attract visitors. Personalised annotations are a brilliant strategy!

“I found part of my story in one of the most unexpected places. I found our shared culture. I found courage. I found my community. I found old friends and new ones. I found my purpose. We found each other. I found a place where we see things and wonder. It’s made of our curiosity. It’s made of my sense of belonging. It’s made of me. 13 perspectives. 1 story. Yours.”

Canberra is sometimes affectionately called the ”bush capital” for its sweeping nature reserves and surrounding mountain ranges, but this campaign proves the city is not just a maxim for the entirety of politics.

library building

The National Library of Australia, Canberra. Photo: Rama Gaind.

Travel and tourism go hand-in-hand as they form a part of our economy. Canberra’s $3.4 billion tourism industry is flourishing, offering opportunities for investment in accommodation and other tourism services. Official figures from the ACT Government reveal that in 2023, the ACT welcomed more than 5.4 million domestic and international overnight visitors. They spent a total of $3 billion in overnight expenditure. We’re doing something right!

It’s easy to find a mix of history, art and the outdoors in the capital. According to Tourism Australia, the small-yet-mighty capital of Canberra is a city that punches far above its weight. Well-known museums and historical sites are just the beginning. Dig a little deeper to find hidden gems in and outside of the city.

For art that will move you, explore some of the finest galleries and museums where one loses track of time, delve through Aboriginal artworks, see international exhibitions and join guided tours. Inside the National Library of Australia, we held in esteem the rare books, maps and images that told stories of the country’s past.

A visit to the Australian Parliament House offered a chance to learn more about its culture and political history. We saw the exhibitions and art collections and went behind the scenes. We explored the symbolism and craftsmanship of the building architecture and visited the parliamentary chambers … all at our own pace.

Among the other institutions featured in the campaign are the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, Questacon and the Royal Australian Mint.

museum building

An aerial view of the National Museum of Australia in Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Acton. Photo: Visit Canberra.

On the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, Australia’s stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia. Visit Canberra highlights the museum’s stunning design, and the landscapes provide an extraordinary place to explore the splendid and diverse stories of Australia and its people. Wander through the many exhibitions and get to know the real, the treasured, the surprising, and the inspirational objects from Australian history.

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In the heart of the Parliamentary Zone, the gardens at Old Parliament House offered a pleasant, rose-filled place to pause. Located on either side of Old Parliament House are the House of Representatives Garden and Senate Garden.

Opting for the name ”Canberra” – said to have been derived from a local Aboriginal word for ”meeting place” – was a logical choice. The city’s major attractions offer an exceptional perspective on the Australian story. Take advantage and have an immersive opportunity to understand our story, celebrate it, learn from it and reflect on it for the future.

“No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll find a part of you right here. A story that’s made of you … made of us … and made of Australia.”

Ensure you find your story when you scrutinise and discover those illuminating cultural icons in Canberra!

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