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1 August 2020

From Cooleman Ridge, Mt Taylor and Oakey and Narrabundah Hills, Weston Creek’s waters drain down through the city’s south-western suburbs to join the Molonglo River. It’s a small catchment, five kilometres long and four wide, and the creek makes an unassuming passage. For much of its length, it courses underground or through a concrete stormwater drain, only near its confluence with the river spreading out to form the North Weston Ponds.

Thousands of pieces of evidence of Ngunnawal ways of life and ownership of this area are located along the river corridor and tributary creeks. Nearby reserves support patches of the grassy woodland community that once covered the area, as well as threatened native bird species.

But to walk Weston Creek today is to glimpse how, from the 1840s, it has been re-made in the service of agriculture, urbanisation and industry, including becoming part of Canberra’s first sewerage treatment works.

Where the creek nears the Molonglo, a new wetland now slows flows, filtering silt and improving water quality. A volunteer group gathers regularly to care for this habitat; their reward the buzz of insects and chorus of frog calls.

Weston Creek, 2020, Kate Matthews

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