Canberra Camps, Settlements & Early Housing

Riverbourne & Russell Hill

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The Builders of Canberra-Riverbourne & Russell Hill by Ann Gugler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Copyright Ann Gugler © 2012


These two settlements, Riverbourne and Russell Hill represent the failure of the FCC to provide sufficient accommodation for married construction workers.  In 1925 80 sites were made available at Riverbourne - 3 miles from the Queanbeyan Post Office on the south side of the Molonglo River - were made available for men to again build humpies for themselves and their families. The area today is roughly opposite Harman Naval Station.  A map showing the site is included in the draft that follows.  The settlement was supposed to close in 1926 but remained until 1927.  The children of the settlement attended the Molonglo [Infants & Primary] School.  In1926 120 sites for men to built their own humpies was made available at Russell Hill roughly in the area of the Campbell Shops. The trees in the park area above the shops are shown in a number of early photographs taken in the settlement.  This settlement that was not connected to electricity or sewerage system remained into the 1950s.  HLB Lasseter lived at Russell Hill with his wife and two children from late 1926 until a month or so after the opening of Parliament in May 1927.  He wrote a number of articles in the Canberra Community News under the nom-de-plume of 'The Gleaner'.

Riverbourne & Russell Hill draft