Moving to Canberra?
This section provides general information to help people who are considering moving to Canberra. While it relates this information to specifically Jewish issues, where appropriate, details on Jewish activities are left primarily to other sections of this website.
Canberra is a quiet inland city with a population of about 350,000. The climate is dry, with temperatures reaching the 30s on hot summer days. A typical winter day is sunny and pleasant, but at night temperatures sometimes drop below freezing. Information about attractions and activities in Canberra can be found at Visit Canberra.
Most residents of Canberra live in detached houses, though apartments and townhouses are also available, particularly in the inner suburbs around the Jewish Community Centre. The most extensive listings of accommodation for sale or rent are at Allhomes and in the Saturday Canberra Times newspaper. A good place to look for shared accommodation is the university website ANU - University Accommodation Services.
Advice on buying or renting accommodation can be found at Reality check. A real estate guide for buyers and sellers in the ACT or The Renting Book respectively.
Accommodation within walking distance of the synagogue at the Jewish Community Centre is found in the central suburbs of Forrest, Griffith, Deakin, Barton and Kingston, and parts of Red Hill and Narrabundah. Barton and Kingston have mainly apartments, and housing in Forrest and Barton is expensive by Canberra standards. All of these suburbs are also close to Coles Manuka, the main source of kosher food in Canberra.
Canberra is a widely spaced city with cars being the main form of transport. It has an excellent road network and only light traffic, so travel times are short. For example the Jewish Community Centre, which is centrally located, is within a 25 minute drive of everywhere in Canberra.
People moving to Canberra from interstate must obtain an ACT (Australian Capital Territory) vehicle registration and driver's licence within three months. The process is explained at regoACT - Moving to the ACT. Listings of second-hand cars for sale are in the Saturday Canberra Times newspaper or try Allclassifieds.
Public transport in Canberra is provided by the ACTION bus company, but the network is not as extensive or frequent as in most major cities. Canberra has bicycle lanes and a fairly good network of bicycle paths, described in a Cycling and Walking Map.
School and Child Care
The ACT Department of Education and Training provides a minimum of 12 hours per week of non-compulsory preschool education to ACT resident children who turn four before 30 April in the year prior to attending primary school. A list of Government pre-schools is on Directory of Preschools.
Children turning five on or before the 30th of April can start primary school in that school year, which begins in February. Primary school lasts seven years, from kindergarten to grade 6, followed by high school (grades 7 to 10) and college (grades 11 and 12). A complete list of government and private schools can be found on the ACT Department of Education and Training – Directory of Schools. School term dates are on ACT Department of Education and Training - Term Dates and Public Holidays. Detailed information on individual schools is available on Myschool.
There are no Jewish schools in Canberra. Details on the Sunday School/Cheder and Vacation Care Program are elsewhere on this website.
Names and contact details of childcare options, private preschools, and outside school hours care in Canberra are on the DHCS Guide to Childrens Services website. Waiting lists for childcare places can be long for babies and toddlers, so you are strongly advised to register for several centres as early as possible.
Canberra has an unemployment rate well below those of the States, and labour shortages exist in many fields. The most extensive print listing of jobs available is the Saturday Canberra Times newspaper. A few websites worth trying are Australian Job Search, SEEK, CAREERONE or APS Jobs.