O'Connor, Australian Capital Territory

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CanberraAustralian Capital Territory
Spring in O'Connor, Canberra 2015.jpg
O'Connor is located in Australian Capital Territory
Coordinates35°15′33″S 149°07′16″E / 35.25917°S 149.12111°E / -35.25917; 149.12111Coordinates: 35°15′33″S 149°07′16″E / 35.25917°S 149.12111°E / -35.25917; 149.12111
Population5,481 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1,119/km2 (2,897/sq mi)
Area4.9 km2 (1.9 sq mi)
DistrictNorth Canberra
Territory electorate(s)Kurrajong
Federal division(s)Canberra
Suburbs around O'Connor:
Kaleen Lyneham
Bruce O'Connor
Black Mountain Acton Turner

O'Connor is an affluent suburb of Canberra, Australia in the North Canberra district characterised by its leafy, heritage listed streets. It was named after Richard Edward O'Connor (1851–1912), who was a judge in the High Court and a founder of the Australian constitution. Street names in O'Connor are named after explorers, Australian flora, legislators and pioneers. The suburb name was gazetted on 20 September 1928.[2]

O'Connor is bounded by Wattle and David streets, and also includes the Bruce/O'Connor ridge nature reserve, the hilly area with many trees that lies between the houses in O'Connor, and the Australian Institute of Sport (in the suburb of Bruce). Sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket are often played at the ovals at O'Connor district playing fields.

O'Connor has a small shopping centre with a pub/bar, small grocery store, a couple of restaurants and a pharmacy.


The suburb is characterised by leafy streets and detached single dwelling houses. In the central part of O'Connor are a series of cul de sacs which contain houses which are known as Tocumwal Houses. These are heritage listed ex-government housing which were transported from RAAF Station Tocumwal after the Second World War to cover the housing shortage in Canberra in the 1950s.[3][4]

The ACT Heritage Council has also listed the Scout Hall at the corner of Hovea Street and Boronia Drive. It was originally built as a mess hall for construction workers at Old Parliament House and was later moved to Kingston and used as an office of the United Friendly Society. In 1959, it was moved to O'Connor to become a Scout Hall.[5]

A number of Aboriginal places on the Bruce and O’Connor Ridges are also on the heritage list.[6]

The small part of the suburb to the east of Sullivans Creek is beginning to be redeveloped under a policy permitting two and three-storey flats.[7]

O'Connor shops
Tocumwal House in Todd Street
Houses being demolished to make way for three-storey units in Berrigan Crescent
Two-storey units in Berrigan Crescent

Suburb amenities[edit]

The O'Connor Cooperative School (a government run early childhood school)[8] and St Joseph's primary school (run by the Catholic Church) are both located in O'Connor. The Anglican church of St Philip's in O'Connor was dedicated in 1961,[9] and consecrated in 1981. The O'Connor Ridge is a large strip of land that is use for bush walking and mountain biking and is a part of the Canberra Nature Park. At the O'Connor shops there can be found, a bar and restaurant, a supermarket, a hairdresser, a bicycle shop, a dentist, a pharmacy, a florist, and a Vietnamese restaurant. Along the road from these are Canberra's Alliance Française, a Croatian Club and a Polish Club.


At the 2016 census, the population of O'Connor was 5,481, including 53 (1.0%) Indigenous persons and 3,843 (70.4%) Australian-born persons. 65.8% of dwellings were separate houses (compared to the Australian average of 72.9%), while 14.4% were semi-detached, row or terrace houses (Australian average: 12.7%) and 19.3% were flats, units or apartments (Australian average: 13.1%). 41.1% of the population were professionals, compared to the Australian average of 22.2%. Notably 21.3% worked in central government administration, compared to the Australian average of 1.2%, although the ACT-wide average is a very similar 18.4%. 51.1% of the population had no religion, compared to the ACT average of 36.2% and the Australian average of 29.6%.[1]


O'Connor is located within the federal electorate of Canberra and it is represented by Alicia Payne for the Labor Party. In the ACT Legislative Assembly, Lyneham is part of the electorate of Kurrajong, which elects five members on the basis of proportional representation, two Labor, two Liberal and one Greens.[10]


Calcareous shales from the Canberra Formation is overlain by Quaternary alluvium. This rock is the limestone of the original title of Canberra "Limestone Plains". The higher parts of O'Connor in the west are different. Towards the south near Black Mountain is the Black Mountain Sandstone. Towards the north, and including O'Connor Ridge can be found Greywacke from the Ordovician age Pittman Formation.[11]



O'Connor residents get preference for:[12]

  • O'Connor Co-Operative School
  • Depending on the address: Lyneham Primary or Turner Primary
  • Lyneham High School
  • Dickson College


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "O'Connor (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Suburb Name search results". ACT Planning & Land Authority. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. ^ "The Tocumwal Archive". ACT Heritage Council. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  4. ^ "20043. Tocumwal Housing Precinct (Entry to the ACT Heritage Register)" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Heritage (Decision about Registration of 13th Canberra Scout Hall, O'Connor) Notice 2010" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  6. ^ "20130. Aboriginal Places – Bruce and O'Connor Ridges (Entry to the ACT Heritage Register)" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Inner North Precinct Code" (PDF). ACT Planning and Land Authority. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Welcome". O'Connor Cooperative School. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  9. ^ "History of the buildings". St Philip's Anglican Church, O'Connor. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Current members". ACT Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  11. ^ Henderson G A M and Matveev G, Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs 1:50000 1980.
  12. ^ "Priority Enrolment Areas 2015 by Suburb Archived 8 February 2016 at WebCite" (Archive). Education Directorate, Australian Capital Territory. Retrieved on 8 February 2016.

External links and resources[edit]