Bonython is a Canberra suburb in the district of Tuggeranong. It is named after Sir John Langdon Bonython, the owner of The Advertiser (Adelaide) who promoted Federation, and was a member of the first Australian parliament. Original concept plans for Tuggeranong indicate that the suburb was initially to be known as “Stranger”. The name “Bonython” was declared when it was gazetted as a suburb of Canberra on 17 October 1986. The streets are named after South Australians, especially journalists.

Prior to 1986, the land upon which Bonython now sits was grazing land, mainly grassland with scattered eucalypt trees. By 1989, construction of houses and the Stranger Pond water quality control pond began and the new Canberra suburb was born.

Bonython is an elongate suburb, straddling the eastern and northern sides of Mt Stranger, a low hillside (altitude 660 metres asl) that rises about 100 metres above the Tuggeranong valley floor. Stranger Pond sits at the northern end of the suburb, formed by a man-made dam across a natural drainage channel. The Pond surroundings were landscaped early during the suburb’s construction and have now become a focus for a variety of native wildlife, including black swans, pelicans and kangaroos. The Pond surroundings provide popular walking trails through bushland for local residents, and some trails connect with the Canberra equestrian trail and the Kambah Pool to Pine Island Walking Track.

Bonython adjoins the suburbs of Greenway to the north, Isabella Plains to the east and Gordon to the south. On the western side of Bonython is a nature reserve bordering the Murrumbidgee River.

Like many Canberra suburbs, Bonython accommodates a dormitory community, with the working population commuting to places of employment in nearby Tuggeranong or elsewhere within Canberra or Queanbeyan (a nearby city in New South Wales). The suburb is conveniently close to a number of major employers in the nearby Tuggeranong Town Centre.  Employment in the Town Centre is provided by a number of Commonwealth government agencies, such as Centrelink, Medicare Australia and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Australia) as well as numerous retail outlets in and around the Tuggeranong Hyperdome shopping mall. Many Bonython residents can walk to work – a rare luxury in a city designed in the 20th century primarily for car transportation.

Being so close to the Tuggeranong Town Centre, Bonython contains very few shops of its own – a general store and a couple of niche shops. In the centre of the suburb is the Bonython Primary School, opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992. Located in Hurtle Avenue and adjoining the Bonython shops, it is a public school operated by the ACT Government (Department of Education and Training) and includes Bonython Pre-school. The school’s catchment area is primarily the suburb of Bonython itself – 68%.of students live within the school’s catchment area, while 32% of students are ‘out-of-area’. According to the Department’s publication Towards 2020 Renewing Our Schools For the Future, Bonython Primary School had 365 children enrolled in 2006 (capacity 400), sufficient numbers to ensure the school’s survival to 2010 and beyond. Bonython Pre-school had 65 children enrolled in 2006. The school was designed for conversion into unit-style residential accommodation when, eventually, school enrolments are insufficient to sustain its continued operation.

On Barr-Smith Drive, close to the Bonython Primary School, is the Stepping Stones Child Care Centre. This Centre provides childcare to working parents.

Between Bonython Primary School and Drakeford Drive is the Bonython Neighbourhood oval. This is a community oval, used by school students on school days and by various Tuggeranong sporting clubs on weekends. The oval has suffered during the drought and is currently not being maintained due to water restrictions. Consequently, the oval is unsuitable for community use and will require restoration if water restrictions are eased in future.

In 2007, the final release of residential land in Bonython began with the development of West Bonython, between the northern shore of Stranger Pond and Athlon Drive. The development is being undertaken by the ACT Land Development Agency – this estate was initially promoted as Brindabellas, but that label seems to have been dropped.

An additional 800 residences are being constructed, comprising a mixture of apartments, units, courtyard homes and standalone residences.

Stranger Pond has been lengthened so that the eastern end now continues almost to Barr Smith Avenue.

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