Before European settlement the area now known as the ACT was inhabited by three Aboriginal tribes: the Ngunnawal, Walgalu, and Ngarigo. White exploration and settlement did not occur until the 1820s. The ACT was conceived during the federation conventions of the late 1800s as neutral location for a new National Capital. The Australian Constitution provided that following Federation in 1901, land would be ceded to the new Federal Government. The Territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911, and construction of the capital, Canberra, began in 1913.
The Australian Capital Territory's population is largely concentrated on Canberra, with only 869 people living outside of the city as of the 2006 census. Canberrans are relatively young, highly mobile, and well-educated, with most employed by the government. The main industries are government administration and defence.
The Memorial is located in Australia's capital, Canberra. It is the northern terminus of the city's ceremonial land axis, which stretches from Parliament House on Capital Hill along a line passing through the summit of the cone-shaped Mount Ainslie to the northeast. No continuous roadway links the two points, but there is a clear line of sight from the front balcony of Parliament House to the War Memorial, and from the front steps of the War Memorial back to Parliament House.
The Australian War Memorial consists of four major elements: Anzac Parade, a commemorative area, a memorial building, and a sculpture garden. The commemorative area and building are currently[update] open daily until 5pm, except on Christmas Day. The Parade and sculpture garden are open continuously.