10 March 2023

Happy birthday to Goulburn! City to celebrate milestone birthday with community party

| Claire Sams
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The Big Merino

The Big Merino will be watching over Goulburn as it celebrates the milestone birthday. Photo: Theresa Cronk.

Light the candles and wrap the birthday gifts, we’ve got a birthday coming up we need to celebrate.

The city of Goulburn has reached its 160th birthday, with a party set to take place at Belmore Park on 11 March from 10 am.

Locals and visitors can mark the celebrations, with cake cutting, a live performance of an Indonesian dance from the Goulburn Multicultural Centre and the playing of Happy Birthday and Australia’s national anthem all planned.

Additionally, students from Goulburn High School, Mulwaree High School and Trinity Catholic College will come together to address those gathered.

“This is always a very fun event, with a particular highlight for me being the opportunity to hear from our high school students and listen to them talk about what they love about our region,” said Mayor Peter Walker.

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“The Goulburn Mulwaree Award is in its second year, and we will be presenting this award on the day, recognising some of the fine citizens of our area.

“This local award has been created to recognise outstanding service or meritorious achievement by individuals to the community of the Goulburn Mulwaree local government area.”

According to council’s website, nominations are reviewed by the mayor and deputy mayor, as well as five independent community representatives, who are to be appointed by council at the beginning of each council term.

Prior to European settlement, the area of and around Goulburn was a meeting place for many Aboriginal groups.

The Mulwaree people lived in what is now Goulburn and the surrounding areas and belong to the Ngunawal language group.

The town was originally surveyed in 1882, though it was moved to the current site of Goulburn (named after Henry Goulburn, a British politician) in 1833.

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It became Australia’s first inland city when it was proclaimed as such by Royal Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria on 14 March 1863, when the Diocese of Goulburn was proclaimed.

In the decades following, Goulburn became key to the region’s wool industry and an industrial town, with several buildings becoming heritage listed and attractions in their own right.

The work of nationally significant architects including Frances Greenway (Australia’s first government architect) and Edmund Cooper Manfred (who designed many of the fine character homes in central parts of the city) can be seen on Goulburn’s streets.

These sites include the Goulburn Post Office, Lansdowne Park, the Goulburn Court House, Saint Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral, Connollys Mill, Kenmore Asylum and the Old Goulburn Brewery.

The first inland city’s literary ties are worth a shout on the city’s birthday too.

My Brilliant Career author Miles Franklin lived on a farm near Goulburn, and used her personal experiences of Goulburn and the surrounding districts to write her famous book when she was 18.

Another well-known literary figure, Mary Gilmore, was born in Goulburn in 1865.

In more recent times, Goulburn has become known for its arts and culture industry.

The repurposed town hall has been given another lease on life as the recently opened Goulburn Performing Arts Centre, while The Goulburn Club is voluntarily managed by musicians.

The Lieder Theatre and Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company both regularly present quality local productions for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

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