Bonner, Australian Capital Territory

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Population 1,494 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 534/km2 (1,382/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2914
Area 2.8 km2 (1.1 sq mi)
District Gungahlin
Territory electorate(s) Yerrabi
Federal Division(s) Fenner
Suburbs around Bonner:
Jacka Bonner
Amaroo Forde

Bonner is a suburb in the district of Gungahlin in Canberra in Australia. The suburb is named in memory after Senator Neville Bonner, Australia's first Indigenous parliamentarian who served the people of Queensland during the years 1971-1984. The suburb is bounded by Horse Park and Gundaroo Drives and is approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) from the Gungahlin Town Centre and 16 km (9.9 mi) from the centre of Canberra. It is adjacent to the suburbs of Jacka, Amaroo and Forde. Settlement of the suburb began in 2010 and it had an estimated population of 3,845 on 30 June 2013.[2]


Bonner is situated on the former paddocks of "Horse Park", a sheep property established in 1853 by Irish immigrants John and Ann Gillespie.[3] From these humble beginnings, the Gillespies increased their pastoral holdings through the judicious acquisitions of neighbouring properties such as "Elm Grove" (situated in present-day Forde).

Their son James Gillespie was instrumental in establishing the Mulligans Flat Public School. The remnants of the school are located in the nearby Mulligans Flat Reserve. Gillespie was a regularly contributor to the Goulburn Evening Penny Post under the pseudonym "The Wizard". "Horse Park" homestead which has been nominated for the ACT Heritage Register is situated a kilometre west in the suburb of Jacka.

Local facilities

A local shopping centre is positioned at the geographical centre of the suburb close to the areas designated for medium-density housing. The local Primary School is at the centre of its catchment, which comprises Bonner, Forde and the southern portion of Jacka. It adjoins the Local Centre and playing fields. Taken together these facilities create a social nucleus for the new suburb. A local primary school site is located at the centre of Bonner to also serve Forde, to the east, and Jacka to the west. The school is close to the Local Centre, Community Facilities, the playing fields. The Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is situated on the north-eastern edge of the suburb.

Like most new Canberra suburbs, Bonner is in a cat containment area: all cats have to be kept inside the cat owner's property and within an enclosure if outside.


Bonner occupies 283 hectares and at its highest point is situated is 715 metres above sea level (ASL) while its lowest point on the southernmost reach is 624 metres. The suburb slopes southward towards Ginninderra Creek. Oak Hill dominates the northern horizon which is 800 metres above sea level and situated on the north-west boundary of the Australian Capital Territory.


Bonner as seen when under development

Rocks in Bonner are from the late middle Silurian period and are called Canberra Formation. They are mostly slatey shale and mudstone. A band of dacite follows a ridge in the north east direction in the western third. Also ashstone occurs on a hill top in the north west corner of Bonner.[4]

Coordinates: 35°09′51″S 149°08′00″E / 35.16413°S 149.13322°E / -35.16413; 149.13322


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Bonner (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  2. "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2012-13". 3 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. Mary Anne Hutchinson married John Gillespie in North Ireland in 1836 and arrived as bounty migrants in Australia in 1841. They worked for William Klensendorlffe at Canberra for two years before taking up residence at Ginninderra.
  4. Henderson G A M and Matveev G, Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs 1:50000 1980.
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