The commonwealth of Australia was born in 1901 with both Melbourne and Sydney putting in bids to become the federal capital of
Australia. In 1908 the politicians decided to set aside 2,330 sq. kilometers of sheep grazing land in New South Wales for the new capital, and the Australian Capital Territory and Canberra
(pronounced Can-bra - an aboriginal word for meeting place) was born. Three years later a competition was launched for the design of a city for 25,000 people. Walter Burley Griffin, an American
architect, won the competition. His design was largely based on the boulevards of Paris and the wide streets of Washington, D.C. By 1927, the first meeting of parliament took place. Sydney is 190
miles northeast of Canberra and Melbourne is 404 miles southwest.