ACT News


Renaming pays tribute to Marion Mahony Griffin's vision

After 101 years in her husband's shadow, Marion Mahony Griffin has been publicly recognised for her part in Canberra's design.

Mt Ainslie Lookout was renamed in her honour on Friday in acknowledgement of her contribution to the winning proposal for the Griffins' vision of Australia's capital.

Speaking at the unveiling of a full-size reproduction of Mrs Griffin's watercolour rendering, credited as having a central role in the plan's selection, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the renaming righted a historic wrong.

''The significance of the injustice lies in the fact that the visionary Canberra plan was truly a collaborative venture,'' she said.

''This is a very public way of acknowledging the role she played and the fact that her beautiful drawings were central to Walter's winning of the competition.''

This affirmation of Mrs Griffin's importance comes as Craft ACT exhibits a response from artist Cathy Franzi to the Griffins' plan to paint the hills of Canberra through colourful revegetation.


Ms Franzi, a ceramic artist, said her collection of work drew influence from the couple's ''grand vision for the plan of Canberra'' that would never come to fruition.

''They had a plan to revegetate the hills in colour planting so that each hill was going to have a different colour. Mt Ainslie was going to be yellow and called Golden Hill,'' Ms Franzi said.

''I imagine she was a woman who was quite ahead of her time.''

Mrs Griffin was the second woman to graduate with an architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was the first woman architect to be licensed to practice.

''It was a time women weren't recognised for their skills,'' Ms Franzi said.

While Marion Griffin's dream of Golden Hill was never realised, her work displayed at its summit guarantees her rightful place in Canberra's history.