Emu Bank Homestead Site

T6 Emu 1

This English elm marks where Emu Bank Homestead once stood here at Belconnen Library.

T6 Emu 2

How to get there?

From Lake Ginninderra, turn left back onto Aikman Drive then take the third right into Chandler Street.

From the Visitors Centre return north on Northbourne Ave and turn left at the 4th set of lights onto Barry Drive. This becomes Belconnen Way. Continue for a total of 5.5 km. Turn right into Eastern Valley Way then left at the first lights into College Street. Turn right into Chandler Street. The library is on your left.

Why is this interesting?

This was the site of one of the houses built for workers on the large Ginninderra property. The Shumack family lived here for 11 years, farming the land for William Davis.

Matthew and Catherine O’Brien were one of the last families to live here. When William Davis sold the Ginninderra and Gungahlin properties, Matthew continued as boundary rider to the new owner, Edward Crace. Matthew later worked for General Legge at Cranleigh.

This part of the Ginninderra property was referred to as the Emu Bank Paddock, but most of it is now under Lake Ginninderra. Regarded as tastier than marsupials, emus were once plentiful here but became easy targets for shooters with nowhere to hide on the open plain.

Matthew O’Brien was a crack pigeon shot and all round sportsman. His shooting prowess was valued for the many hunting parties that took place, from wallaby drives to hare, rabbit and fox drives in the 1950s. It was reported in 1894 that a drive at Emu Bank accounted for 375 hares.