Along the Molonglo

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2013 Along the Molonglo, Queanbeyan
2014 Along the Molonglo - Canberra
2014 Along the Molonglo - Queanbeyan

Along the Molonglo Art Exhibition and Competition

Capturing the Spirit of the Molonglo

Four major waterways of the Molonglo catchment, the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers and Burra and Jerrabomberra Creeks, combine to provide the lakeside setting for our national capital. Perhaps less well-known is that their valleys also support vulnerable and endangered ecosystems such as box-gum woodlands and natural temperate grassland. Such ecosystems harbour endangered plants and animals and a fascinating range of more common native plants and animals. The Molonglo has been significant in aboriginal culture for tens of thousands of years, and European heritage for almost two hundred years.

Each year, the Molonglo Catchment Group through the Queanbeyan Art Society and the Artists Society of Canberra challenges artists to capture The Spirit of the Molonglo,  revealed not just in the waters of the catchment, but in the richness of its plant- and animal-life, and the vibrancy of its cultural heritage.

Maybe the Spirit of the Molonglo is expressed in the vibrant red bark of Eucalyptus rubida in autumn, the dew on a rare and delicate orchid on Black Mountain in spring or a wedge-tailed eagle riding thermals over the lower Molonglo in summer.  Perhaps it's in stories told by the gnarled yellow box that sprouted from a seed well before Europeans first saw the Limestone Plains, and by the aboriginal scarred trees that still exist within a suburban setting.

The Spirit of the Molonglo might be reflected in the still early morning waters of Lake Burley Griffin or in the incredible view from Dairy Farmers Hill in the National Arboretum. Perhaps it's there in a sunset panorama of the Molonglo Valley from Mt Ainslie. ... Or around the rusted old mine equipment at Captains Flat.

The Spirit of the Molonglo might reveal itself in the platypus rising in the Queanbeyan River on a misty morning, or the balloons rising from beside Lake Burley Griffin; the observatory on Mt Stromlo or the radio telescope at Hoskinstown looking to the stars, maybe those same stars on the Australian flag flying from Parliament House; the turf grown at Pialligo for children to play on in Canberra backyards, or vineyards producing wines to enjoy with a picnic in Molonglo Gorge.

It might be the memory of shepherd, James Ainslie, tending the Campbells' sheep near where cadets from RMC Duntroon only recently marched in their graduation parade.  Or is it standing solemnly beside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial or General Bridges' tomb on Mt Pleasant?

Perhaps it's at the Royal Australian Mint, where coins are struck, or the Carillon on Aspen Island where the bells strike the mid-day hour.  Could the Spirit of the Molonglo be in waters of the Queanbeyan River entering Googong Dam to supply Canberra and Queanbeyan, or the waters of the Molonglo River as they join those of the Murrumbidgee on a journey downstream to Gundagai, Wagga Wagga, Adelaide and the Southern Ocean?  Maybe it's in the forests on the Great Dividing Range near the headwaters of the Molonglo or perhaps the awesome boulder-fields in the Tinderry Ranges where tributaries rise to feed the Queanbeyan River.

Maybe it's in all of these, and more.

Along the Molonglo Art Exhibition and Competition is held in conjunction with Queanbeyan Art Society each year in June, and in conjunction with the Artists Society of Canberra in September.

It is through the generosity and continued support of sponsors for the prizes at the Art Exhibition and Competition that we are able to foster interest in the Molonglo and promote an understanding of its environmental assets through art.

View our Along the Molonglo Placestory about the 2009 ASOC Competition and some images from previous exhibitions on our Flickr web pages.



Sunday 7 June 2015


Queanbeyan Art Gallery
beside the river in
Trinculo Place, Queanbeyan



Barry Cranston, President
02 6297 8181 or 0439 392 709.


ACT Region Catchment Groups Art Prizes – Art Exhibition, April 13 – 18, 2015

A Canberra and Region Heritage Festival Event - Week 1


(For details see:


When: Monday 13th April to Saturday 18th April 2015    
Times: Open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm until Saturday 18th April, 2014
(Closing Saturday 18th at 3.00 pm)
Where: ActewAGL House
40 Bunda Street, Canberra City, 2600

Official Opening Ceremony:
To be opened by Mr John Knox
Managing Director of ACTEW Water
Monday 13th April 2014 (5.30 for 6.00) pm
Music, Drinks and Snacks to be provided



Alan Jones
6282 5085 / 0450 962 696


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Last modified: 29/10/2015