HCA Annual report August 2020

Welcome to our first annual update which will be delivered to all houses, units and businesses in Hackett. We trust you enjoy this review of past activities of the Hackett Community Association (HCA) and what is on our agenda for the next year. We always welcome your ideas on what the HCA can do in partnership with the community to improve our great suburb and remember… it is free to join us.

Achievements over the past year

Book about the history of Hackett

The book ‘Hackett – 50 years plus: story of a North Canberra suburb’ was printed in October 2018, with the generous support of Hackett businesses, the North Canberra Community Council, as well as funding by the HCA.  Copies available for $20 at Hackett IGA, but stocks are dwindling.

Party at the Shops 2019

The HCA organised the first Party at the Shops in 2003 to celebrate the 40th birthday of Hackett, then in 2008 and 2013 for the 45th and 50th birthdays respectively. This annual event continued from 2014 to 2019. The 2019 party was another great success, starting with Chief Minister Andrew Barr launching the Hackett Community Fire Unit, followed by the Merici College Dance troupe. Music was provided by local musos, as well as the Holy Cross Church choir, Canberra Big Band and Campbell High band. Like previous years, the raffle was well supported with generous donations by Hackett businesses, including an artwork by Hackett artist, Peter Engel as first prize.

Improvements to the Hackett shops precinct

In June 2019, the HCA sent the Chief Minister, a plan with a list of actions to enhance this area. Since then, the garden was weeded and mulched, garden edges repainted, provision of two new metal seats in the paved area, and planting two red oaks on the lawn. A list of the actions and their status can be viewed at https://hackett.asn.au/community-actions/.

Floriade reimagined 2020

In late May, the HCA planted 1,200 tulip bulbs and 600 pansies and poppies in the gardens at the shops. The HCA also gave 100 bulbs to the Hackett Preschool. Blue Gum Community School and the Gilruth Park group have also planted some. Hackett will be in bloom in September-October.

Clean Up Australia Day

Since 2003, the HCA, under the guidance of Terry de Luca, has organised Clean Up Australia Day in Hackett each March. Much rubbish has been removed by volunteers of all ages in areas including the shops, Phillip Avenue, Antill St and the oval precinct.

Murals at Hackett Oval change rooms

The walls on the change rooms at the southern end of the Hackett oval were covered in graffiti. In May 2019, the HCA contacted the ACT Government’s Graffiti Management unit. They engage artists to paint murals on public spaces subject to graffiti. Mr Dai Cameron, the lead artist, worked with Mikki Trail, Art Director, and senior students at Blue Gum Community School, to develop the concepts and then paint them. They were also assisted by several Silver Sprayers, older people, who have worked on other Canberra murals. The government painted other parts of the building, so by the end of June 2019 it was looking brand new.

Community Fire Unit

The HCA has worked closely with ACT Fire and Rescue to establish a Community Fire Unit in Hackett. If you would like to join, visit the ESA website https://www.esa.act.gov.au/join-us/volunteering/community-fire-units

Enhancing open spaces

There are 6 open spaces/parks in Hackett (adjacent to the following streets – Bragg, Tyron, Harris, Gilruth, and Caldwell, and the shops). The ACT Government set up an Adopt-a-Park Scheme through which groups volunteer their time in the following areas – Bragg St Park, Gilruth Park and the shops. The Bragg St group’s actions resulted in the government providing large rocks and logs for nature play in 2019.

The Gilruth Park Supporters Group received a grant through the 2019-20 Adopt-a-Park Grants Program for a project called “More Shade and Seating”. This will provide six shade trees and thirty bird attracting shrubs; painting existing benches; and provision of ten large rocks.

The Hackett Community Collective also received an Adopt-a-Park grant for a project called “Hackett Shops Garden Project.” The project will involve engagement of a landscape architect to work with the community to develop a plan for enhancing the gardens at the shops. The outcomes from this project will complement the work already done as a result of the HCA plan for the shops submitted to the Chief Minister in mid 2019.

Priorities for 2020-21

Some of the activities that commenced over the past year and earlier, will be a priorities for the coming year.

Party at the shops

Unfortunately due to the Corona-19 virus, this year’s party has been cancelled. But we may have a small event in September-October to coincide with the Floriade Reimagined blooms.

Hackett shops precinct

Update on shops

On the 22 July 2020, the Government announced that the Hackett shops were one of several shops that would be upgraded across Canberra as part of its second stimulus package.  Details of this work are yet to be provided but hopefully will include provision of a new table, replacement of seats in the main concourse, and provision of bike racks on the south side of Rusty Mals.

Other activities for the HCA include assisting the Hackett Community Collective develop a plan for the gardens, assist Blue Gum School place a tile mosaic in the metal frame in the gardens, provision of a map of Hackett and adjacent reserves, and a sign about Sir John Hackett.


HCA will lobby the government to address speeding traffic on streets including Madigan, Maitland and Mackenzie Streets and Phillip Avenue. We will also enable Hackett’s participation in the Slower Streets initiative that “has been developed to assist people who are walking and cycling and may need to use some of the road for exercise. Slower Streets is an initiative developed in partnership with walking and cycling groups and delivered by residential organisations and networks to encourage people to slow down and look out for their neighbours.”

Bike paths

In conjunction with the Watson Community Association, propose creation of a bike path from north Watson to the top of Antill St.  In response to a Hackett resident, request the Government to improve the dirt track that runs on the Ainslie side of Phillip Avenue through the nature strip.  It starts at Majura Avenue and ends at the end of Phillip Avenue where there is a gate to the Mt Ainslie Reserve. The Phillip Avenue track appears to follow the route of an underground Telstra telecommunications line, therefore it is unlikely they would want to have it covered by bitumen. However, a simple grading and signposting may be sufficient to make it more prominent and inviting for users.

Open spaces

Facilitate the establishment of Adopt-a-Park groups for the other open spaces. If you live close to these areas and would like to get involved please contact us.

Work towards having the open spaces identified with unique names rather than names based on adjacent streets. Naming provides a sense of identity and can help emergency services more readily locate an area.

Hackett Oval trees

The avenue of trees on the east side of the oval were probably planted in the 1920/30s, but who planted them and why, remains a mystery (the 1951 aerial photo on page 17 of the Hackett book shows these trees were well established at that time). The HCA will work towards solving their origin and submitting an application to have the trees listed on the ACT Tree Register.

Partnering with other community groups

Continue working with other community groups including churches, Shareable Hackett, Capital Scraps composting, and schools to improve the suburb.

Clean Up Australia day March 2021

Hold another event in March 2021.

Tables for Hackett parks

The ACT Government conducts an annual budget consultation process where it invites Canberrans, community groups and local organisations to “have a say on how and where the Government should invest to boost services and infrastructure…”.  In November 2019, the HCA requested the provision of a table in each of the five parks in Hackett.  It is pleasing to see that the Gilruth Street park and Bragg Street park had tables installed in July.  The tables are made from recycled plastic and designed to allow wheelchair access.  The HCA will continue lobbying for tables to be provided in the other parks.

Input into the ACT Budget Consultation process

As noted above about the tables, getting a submission into the budget making process can pay dividends.  The HCA will consider providing another submission for Hackett later this year but will need suggestions from residents and businesses.  Please send your ideas to info@hackett.asn.au.

About the HCA

The HCA was established in 2002 and has its mission of “Promoting the well-being of the Hackett community by protecting and enhancing the social, cultural and physical environment in Hackett.”

Our Committee

Chair – Chris Mobbs

Secretary – Bruce Smith

Deputy Secretary – Kay Murphy

Treasurer – Terry de Luca

Members – Greg Hughes, Brook Clinton, Scott Obara, John Carty

Meetings of the HCA Committee

The Committee normally meets on the second Tuesday of the month (except July, December and January) at 7.30pm in the room behind the main hall at Blue Gum School. However, due to Covid-19, these face to face meetings are not being held – we have been Zooming.

Subject to lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, we will hold our AGM, on Tuesday 6 October 2020, starting at 7.30pm in the meeting room, Maitland House (near the main hall)

New HCA website 

Our new website, launched in April this year  https://hackett.asn.au, contains a suite of information about the suburb, the HCA and other community groups, and links to Hackett businesses and community groups.  If you would your Hackett-based business or group listed, please contact us.

Facebook page

We have over 520 followers on our page https://www.facebook.com/HackettCommunity/.

Equipment for loan

The HCA has the following items for its own use and for lending to other Hackett community groups.  If you would like to borrow please send an email to info@hackett.asn.au:

      Gazebo 3mx3m 20m power leads
Wheelable esky Electric 8 litre urn
Long garden hose Collapsible table
Notice boards A-frame blackboard

Join us

Membership of the HCA is free and is a great way of finding out what is happening in the suburb and to contribute ideas for improvements. We would also welcome new members to our Committee.

Join us via our website https://hackett.asn.au/about-us/

Have your say

If you would like to raise any issues please send an email to info@hackett.asn.au

North Canberra Community Council

The North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) is the peak community body within the Inner North region of Canberra.  The aim of the Council is to protect, promote and enhance the economic, cultural, social and environmental well-being of the North Canberra resident community.  The NCCC fosters community identity and provides a local forum for voicing issues of concern to the community.

The NCCC receives an annual grant from the ACT Government to communicate to the Government the views, expectations and concerns of community members.  Our aim is to ensure that legislators and officials are fully informed of resident community needs and expectations.

The governing Committee of the NCCC is made up of representatives from the following local community associations:

Unless advertised differently, Council meetings occur on the third Wednesday night of each month at 7.00pm, either online or at the Downer Community Hall, Frencham Place, Downer (facing the Downer shops). Any member of the public may attend meetings.

The NCCC gets involved in a range of issues affecting the inner north, particularly related to physical and social planning.  Over the last few years the NCCC has been actively involved in:

  • The redevelopment of the Dickson shopping centre, including negotiating major changes to the initial plans.
  • The redevelopment of the Northbourne Ave corridor, including challenging sub-standard planning, and making submissions on other major redevelopments, such as West Basin and Campbell.
  • The increased densification of inner north suburbs.
  • Supporting improved public transport and other initiatives to reduce traffic volumes in the inner north.
  • Supporting initiatives to protect and enhance green spaces and challenging encroachments on nature reserves.
  • Holding a pre-election forum to provide an opportunity to question candidates about their views on key issues relating to the inner north.
  • Providing a regular forum to learn about proposed changes to the inner north and to provide the opportunity for community members to respond to them.

In addition, the NCCC supports community associations in their initiatives to promote community wellbeing and identity.  This includes:

  • Providing funding for community events (such as the Hackett Party at the Shops and Light-up Lyneham) and for equipment to stage those events.
  • Supporting the development and improvement of association websites and other communication media.
  • Supporting the celebration and preservation of the heritage of the inner north (such as the nomination for heritage listing of the site of Canberra’s first aerodrome, which was in the area now covered by Dickson and the playing ovals in the 1920s).
  • Supporting the publication of community histories (such histories of Hackett and
    Campbell) to give residents a better sense of the place where they live.

For further information visit the NCCC website at https://www.northcanberra.org.au

 Published by the Hackett Community Association with financial support from the NCCC  – August 2020

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