Celebrating the Magic of Marion in Canberra

Media Release

11 February 2021

THE Australian Government is pleased to announce a fantastic program of events by some of Australia’s leading public institutions situated in Canberra celebrating the life and times of Marion Mahony Griffin.

Born in Chicago, Illinois on 14 February 1871, Marion was one of the first licensed female architects in the United States of America and the world. Not only did Marion produce some of the finest architectural drawings in Australia and America but was also instrumental in the award winning design plans with her husband Walter Burley Griffin for the design of Australia’s Capital, Canberra.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories the Hon Nola Marino said "Bringing together key Cultural Institutions in the National Triangle and the Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter to celebrate Marion Mahony Griffin’s 150th birthday is an exciting and informative initiative. We are thrilled to bring together a program of activities this year, starting from just before her birthday on 14 February (1871) to her death, on 10 August (1961).

“The Magic of Marion program will be celebrated with everyone bringing out their inner Marion and paying tribute to a woman that sketched her way into the history books with her award-winning designs, watercolours, and some of the finest architectural drawings in Australia and America”.

“Marion Mahony Griffin’s architectural designs shaped Australia’s national capital and left an enduring design legacy which can be enjoyed by residents and visitors to Canberra. It is fitting that her professional contribution as a trail-blazing architect is celebrated through an extensive program of activities in this her 150th anniversary,” Australian Institute of Architects ACT President, Shannon Battisson said.

The program has been developed with thanks to the program partners, National Capital Authority, Australian Institute of Architects – ACT Chapter, Australian Parliament House, National Archives of Australia, National Film and Sound Archives, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, Walter Burley Griffin Society and Visit Canberra.

“It is timely that on the 150th anniversary of Marion Mahony Griffin’s birthday we highlight and celebrate  the woman who helped shape Australia’s National Capital into the much loved city that so many of us now happily call home,” Senator Zed Seselja said.

For the full program of events celebrating Marion visit www.nca.gov.au/marion

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