Newsletter May 2020

It’s good to see so many people of all ages out walking or riding along our streets, or in the neighbouring nature reserves. And now with the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, we can once again enjoy the equipment in our lovely parks.

Speaking of Parks

Hackett has six open spaces that we use for a variety of activities including playing, picnicing, walking, or simply sitting.  These include the following locations:

  • Hackett shops gardens
  • Harris St
  • Caldwell St
  • Tryon St
  • Gilruth St
  • Bragg St

The Hackett shops gardens, Gilruth St and Bragg St parks, have volunteer groups registered under the Urban Parks and Places Volunteering program, managed by Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS).  These groups work closely with TCCS to help manage and improve these areas. For example, the Bragg St Park Volunteers received over 60 native plants which they planted and mulched in September 2019.  Most of these have survived and will create more plant diversity in the park.  In early 2019, TCCS provided some nature play features including 12 large rocks and six large logs.  These are regularly enjoyed by people of all ages, testing their balance on the rocks or sitting on the logs. The ACT Government recently advised that it will be installing a picnic table as part of its job stimulus package in response to Covid-19. The group has also applied for grants through the 2020-21 Nature Play Grants Program, to build more nature play elements, and the Nature in the City Grants Program to build swales across the park to reduce water run-off. Decisions about these grants should be known in June.

The Gilruth St and Hackett shops gardens were successful in receiving grants under the 2019/2020 Adopt-A-Park Community Grants Program.  The Gilruth Park Supporters are using the grant to provide additional plants, mulching of existing plants, rock garden, and painting of seats.  The group was very active on 16 May spreading the mulch and getting the garden beds ready to plant tulip bulbs provided through the Floriade Community.  The park will also receive a picnic table through the Covid-19 stimulus package. For more information, see their report on the Hackett Facebook page

New garden beds at Gilruth Park

The Hackett shops gardens project will involve the Hackett Community Collective holding a planning event at the Hackett shops and engaging a landscape architect to develop a plan for improving the open space and gardens.  This event was going to be held in March but due to Covid-19, has been postponed to later in the year on a date to be determined.

It would be great to establish community groups for the other parks in Hackett.  If you live close to Caldwell, Tryon or Harris St parks and would like to find out more about starting such a group, please send an email to Chris Mobbs

Join the Compost Collective

The Hackett Compost Collective, (now called Capital Scraps) run by HCA Committee member Brook Clinton, has set up composting bins on the north-west side of IGA, on Mills St. As well as collecting kitchen scraps from across Hackett, Brook provides information sessions for residents. The end product is a nutrient rich product that is donated back to the community.  If you would like to join this valuable project, sign up through the website:

Floriade: Reimagined in Hackett

While the Gilruth Supporters received some bulbs through the Floriade Community initiative, several Hackett residents contacted the HCA suggesting the shops gardens could be brightened by some flowers.  The HCA subsequentially applied and received 1,600 tulip bulbs and 600 annuals (pansies and poppies) which will be planted in the mulched gardens beds and the concrete planter pots at the shops.

Blue Gum Community School and Blue Gum Community Playgroup were also successful in obtaining some bulbs and plants (we welcome the attached article from Blue Gum, who the HCA has worked closely with on projects such as the oval change rooms mural and a mosaic to go in the metal frame in the gardens at the shops).  Hackett should look even more colourful when all these plants are in full bloom in September-October.

New trees near oval

The ACT Government has planted nine large red oaks in the open space on the north-east side of the oval. A welcomed addition to this valuable part of Hackett.

Path repairs

Over the last week you may have seen a lot of activity along our paths. Under the ACT Covid-19 stimulus package, contractors have been removing broken paths and laying new concrete. This will make our paths a lot safer for all users

Party at the Hackett Shops to be cancelled

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. We were planning to have this year’s party on Saturday 31 October. However, with the uncertainty associated with Covid-19, the committee has reluctantly decided to not hold a party this year.  A lot of organisational work has to go into the day and we did not want to spend all this effort, only having to cancel nearer the date.  However, we will monitor the Covid-19 restrictions and may hold a smaller event in October to coincide with the Floriade bulbs in bloom.

New HCA website  

Make sure you check out the HCA new website at which includes lots of interesting facts and photos about Hackett, including a large selection of photos of the former Hackett Primary School.

Hackett book

The HCA book “Hackett – 50 years plus: Story of a North Canberra suburb,” is still available. Pick up your copy from Hackett IGA for only $20 – ask at the checkout for a copy.

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 the former Hackett Primary School. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, these face to face meetings are not being held. The Committee held its May meeting via Zoom and will hold its 9 June meeting also via Zoom. If you would like any issues to be raised please send an email to

Chris Mobbs

Chair, Hackett Community Association

22 May 2020

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